Cooler heads prevailed for the Celtics, as Al Horford quickly huddled the C’s up to recenter the team, and the Celtics cruised to a nine-point victory by the night’s end for head coach Joe Mazzulla’s first NBA win.
But speaking after the game, Smart made his feelings on the sequence and Embiid known.
“I mean, went for a rebound; basketball play. Went for the steal; basketball play. Referee blows his whistle, calls a foul, [and] I stop playing. My arm is still stuck in there, and [Embiid] tries to break it,” Smart said of the dust-up. “And then I’m the only one that gets a tech. I mean, everybody saw it. I don’t have to keep talking about it.”
But he did, and he let the world know just what he could’ve done to Embiid.
“If I did that, I’m probably ejected, suspended three games, four games, fines. But the fact that I was the only one that got something out of that is kind of beyond me. Especially defending DPOY, and that’s how he gets treated?” Smart continued. “It’s tough. But, like I said, it’s maturity. I could’ve cracked his head open, but I didn’t. And that’s the maturity we have, you know what I’m saying?
First of all, love it. The hatred is real, and sports are always better with hatred. Smart is basically saying, “Yeah, I could’ve made him look like Ric Flair blading in any match post-2003, but I didn’t, so I am a hero.” I love it. Give me more of it. Please. I need more of these two.
Embiid, for what it’s worth, is playing the clueless card.
“They called a foul, I walked away, and the next thing I know my foot is getting caught up [and] I slipped,” Embiid said after the loss. “Then, the next thing I know Jaylen was on top of me.
“It’s basketball. Emotions. First game of the season. Rivalry, Boston [vs.] Philly. Lot of intensity. It’s all good.”