Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid insists he is now all good with his new assistant coach Dan Burke. Last season, while Burke was working with the Indiana Pacers, he publicly called out Joel Embiid and said he hated the 76ers.
A year later, Burke is a member of the 76ers' coaching staff and he and Embiid are working together regularly. "It's easy to say stuff when you're playing against somebody," Embiid said with a smile, as revealed on ESPN.
"I'm sure no one likes to play against me, because all I do is I either score or get fouled. I know the rules and stuff, I just take advantage, I play my game based on that. If someone wants to reach, I'm going to get fouled and I'm going to get to the free throw line.
"It's harder when you play against somebody that plays that way, but when you're actually on the same team, I'm sure he's going to love it. We're going to get fouls, we're going to foul people out, we're going to get to the free throw line, we're going to score a lot of points.
"It's going to be fun."
Embiid dominated the Pacers in 2019 November
In November 2019, Embiid finished the game against the Pacers with 32 points, 11 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 steals in 33 minutes. After the 76ers beat the Pacers 119-116, then-the Pacers assistant coach Burke said: "I hate that team.
I really wanted to win that game. I think Embiid gets away with a bunch of crap the league ignores, and it would have been a good one to just walk away from." Embiid, who is a big defensive presence in the paint, says Burke is actually.a great guy.
"We're great," Embiid said. "I think he's a great guy. We've actually been very close since we got here. I think him and the whole coaching staff is going to kind of look at me to kind of be the driving force of the defense, especially when we talk about being the Defensive Player of the Year, just making sure we have the best defense in the league protecting the rim.
Which, I mean, the past couple of years when I've been on the floor we've always had most likely the best defense in the league, so they're going to look for me to keep it going and keep that same energy."