Kevin Durant Downplays Trash Talk with Joel Embiid: 'He Didn't Really Say Nothing'

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVDecember 31, 2021

Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid stares down Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant during the second half of an NBA basketball game Thursday, Dec. 30, 2021, in New York. 76ers won 110-102. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)
AP Photo/Adam Hunger

Kevin Durant and Joel Embiid got in each other's faces before the Philadelphia 76ers big man waved goodbye during Thursday's matchup, but the Brooklyn Nets star didn't have a problem with the back-and-forth. 

Nets Videos @SNYNets

KD &amp; Embiid exchange pleasantries.<br><br>(via <a href="https://twitter.com/TalkinNets?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@TalkinNets</a>)<a href="https://t.co/w7oVbgtEFo">pic.twitter.com/w7oVbgtEFo</a>

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

Embiid really told the Nets to "go home" 😳 <a href="https://t.co/UhLAZvijut">pic.twitter.com/UhLAZvijut</a>

Durant told reporters after Philadelphia's 110-102 victory the incident with Embiid was in "the name of the game."

"He didn't really say nothing," Durant continued. "… We just respect each other so much that natural competitive fire comes out."

Nets Videos @SNYNets

Kevin Durant on the words exchanged with Joel Embiid tonight:<br><br>"We just respect each other so much that natural competitive fire comes out" <a href="https://t.co/QT2u8WLgbr">pic.twitter.com/QT2u8WLgbr</a>

Embiid echoed the sentiments:

Tim Bontemps @TimBontemps

Joel Embiid echoes Kevin Durant’s comments about the respect the two have for each other. He says if there’s one player that is as, or more, talented than him in the NBA, it is Durant. Says they are both competitive and that he returned the favor from the last time they met.

While the spat may have generated the headlines, it was an impressive win for the 76ers.

Embiid finished with 34 points, seven rebounds and three steals, while Tyrese Maxey added 25 points, seven rebounds and four assists in a supporting role. Durant had 33 points for Brooklyn, while James Harden was dominant with a triple-double of 33 points, 14 rebounds, 10 assists and two steals.

The 76ers have won three in a row to improve to 19-16 and now have a win over the Eastern Conference's No. 1 seed.