PhIladelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid said it was all good between him and Toronto Raptors' Pascal Siakam as he made it clear he didn't think the Raptors power forward tried to hurt him intentionally. In Game 6 of the 76ers and Raptors series, Embiid sustained a facial fracture and a mild concussion.
The 76ers won Game 6 to progress into the Eastern Conference semifinal, where Embiid sat out the first two games versus the Miami Heat. After helping the 76ers win Game 3, Embiid reflected on the Siakam hit and also addressed the "F--- Embiid" chants that he heard throughout the series versus the Raptors.
"I don't think it was intentional," Embiid said, per ESPN. "That's my guy, obviously. It's unfortunate. I don't think he meant to do it. But, you know, I was more irritated by the perception of when that happened by really the fans and I've always thought they have great fans, but I kind of changed my mind about, you know, the fans up there.
Whether it throughout the series, the 'F---' chants and all that stuff. That's cool."
Embiid: The 'F--- you' chants don't get to me
"It never gets to me, anyways," Embiid added. "I think they got mad because I did the airplane celebration, but it's been going on in a few arenas these days where, the fans, they just feel like, it's okay to just say 'F--- somebody.'
There's a bunch of kids in the arena. I don't think that should be OK, even if there wasn't kids, but it's almost like, if you respond to it is almost like, in the Draymond situation, the league fines you. "It doesn't bother me.
I'm just speaking for, really, everybody in the NBA. Like I said, if you give it you also got to be able to take it. And I've said it about our fans too, when they boo. If the players are gonna go back, you got to be able to take it, too."
The Heat dominated the 76ers in Games 1 and 2 but the 76ers took Game 3 in Philadelphia a 99-79 win. "He [made] a big impact," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. "This is what you have to expect. He's an MVP-caliber player.
He's also usually in the running for defensive player of the year. You have to be very intentional on both ends. "We're not expecting it to be easy. They were a very good team all year; so were we. We were expecting him to be available all series. We'll just have to figure it out."