Jayson Tatum still reminds Joel Embiid that Sixers got beat 4-1 during playoffs
Jayson Tatum might have only spent one season in the NBA, but his team’s renewed rivalry with the Philadelphia 76ers is only beginning. His personal rivalry with center Joel Embiid now has a solid foundation after the Boston Celtics blazed past the Sixers in the Eastern Conference semifinals, something he still reminds him to this day.
“Sometimes we talk trash,” Tatum told Nicole Yang of Boston.com. “I like to remind Joel that we beat him 4-1.”
The Sixers were favored to move past an undermanned Celtics squad without its two best players in Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward, but it was the C’s that made work of the inexperienced Sixers, quickly moving onto the Eastern Conference Finals.
Tatum and Embiid share the same trainer in Drew Hanlen which sets ups the perfect offseason stage for some trash talk and digs at the Sixers’ shortcomings after a rousing 16-game win streak to end the regular season.
The St. Louis native also works out alongside former No. 1 pick Markelle Fultz, who missed the vast majority of the NBA season with a shoulder injury. The two players were virtually traded for each other before the 2017 NBA Draft, as Celtics president Danny Ainge sent the team’s top overall pick to Philadelphia for its third and future selections.
Yet there aren’t any hard feelings between the two talented players, despite how things went down on draft night.
“People try to make us be enemies by how we got drafted, but we don’t care about that,” said Tatum, who was drafted two spots behind Fultz. “There’s no animosity between me and him. We’re really best friends off the court.”
Tatum, Fultz, and Embiid will have plenty of years to get sick of each other, as both teams are bound to fight for the throne in the East — now a wide-open race after LeBron James relinquished his stronghold on the conference.