By: Will Burchfield
Joel Embiid wants to be known as the best center in the league. He also wants it to be known Andre Drummond isn’t in the conversation.
Embiid got the best of Drummond in the 76ers’ 97-86 win over the Pistons on Monday night, and then called him out afterward.
“He doesn’t play any defense,” Embiid told Philly.com. “When we started the game, he was being aggressive and he was talking, too. … So what I was like [in my mind] ‘You want to do that? I’m going to kick your [butt] then. So that’s what I did.”
Embiid scored 32 seconds into the contest en route to a 30-point performance on 11-15 shooting. Many of those buckets came at Drummond’s expense.
This wasn’t lost on the Little Caesars Arena crowd.
Embiid finished plus-21. Drummond finished minus-11.
“In my mind, I was like, ‘You want to switch up, because you are playing against me,’” Embiid went on. “‘You want to be all physical and talk [trash].’ So I was like, ‘You are going to get your [butt beat].’ I love that.”
According to Philly.com, Embiid watched film on Drummond prior to the game. It paid off in a big way.
The outspoken but injury-prone Embiid, who spent time with Drummond in Africa this summer during the NBA’s Basketball without Borders campaign, is on a mission in the 2017-18 season.
The win was Philadelphia’s first of the season. Detroit fell to 2-2.