After the two were part of an on-court altercation in Game 4, Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid had strong words for Brooklyn Nets forward Jared Dudley following a 112-108 Sixers victory on Saturday in New York.
Embiid started his postgame interview with TNT by calling Dudley a "nobody":
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"I mean, first of all, he's a nobody," Embiid said.
Dudley sparked an in-game scuffle early in the second half by shoving Embiid following the Sixers big man's hard foul on Nets center Jarrett Allen, who was also the recipient of an elbow to the face from Embiid in Game 2:
Dudley and Philadelphia star Jimmy Butler were ejected from Game 4 for their roles in the skirmish. Embiid was assessed a flagrant-1 foul.
Embiid remained in the game because he kept his composure as the situation escalated.
"When, you know, opponents try to do stuff like that, that's just to get us out of the game," Embiid told TNT. "I'm too valuable for my team. That's why I didn't react. I did not do anything. And I didn't think that was a flagrant foul because I played the ball, too. In that type of situation, I've just got to stay composed and be mature and let it go because my teammates need me more than they need him. You know, I've just got to be mature."
When tempers ran high, Brooklyn held a six-point lead just minutes into the third quarter. The Butler-less Sixers would go on to outscore the Nets 51-41 the rest of the way to escape with the win and take a commanding 3-1 series lead.
The key to victory? It was Embiid, who finished with a game-high 31 points, 16 rebounds, seven assists, six blocks and two steals.
In other words, the two-time All-Star is correct in saying that he is too valuable to his team to get himself thrown out of games.
There may still be more to come in this budding rivalry, as the Nets and the 76ers will once again go head-to-head on the court Tuesday in Game 5 as the series shifts back to Philadelphia.