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Joel Embiid calls Jared Dudley a ‘nobody’ in postgame interview

Jared Dudley, Joel Embiid

Philadelphia 76ers superstar Joel Embiid, originally listed as doubtful, ended up playing in Game 4 against the Brooklyn Nets on Saturday, emerging as the best player on the floor despite suffering from nagging left knee pain related to tendonitis.

With his team locked in a heated battle and in need of a win before this series shifts back to Philadelphia, Nets forward Jared Dudley saw an opportunity to goad Embiid into a mistake in the third quarter, and took it by shoving him after the Sixers big man laid a hard, but clean, foul on Brooklyn counterpart Jarrett Allen. Instead of involving himself in the ensuing fray between the Sixers and Nets, though, Embiid stepped out of the way, understanding he’s too important to his team to potentially get ejected. Good thing, too, because he was dominant down the stretch of Philadelphia’s comeback victory at Barclays Center.

After the game, Embiid was asked what he thought of Dudley instigating the fracas.

“I mean, first of all, he’s a nobody,” Embiid told Turner Sports’ Ros Gold-Onwude, per Def Pen Hoops. “When opponents try to do stuff like that, that’s just to get us out of the game. I’m too valuable for my team. That’s why I didn’t react. I did not do anything.”

Dudley, who continued his contentious back-and-forth with Ben Simmons in Game 4, and Jimmy Butler were ejected after they spilled into the stands while pushing and shoving, and Embiid was assessed a flagrant foul for his initial foul on Allen – a call that could very well be rescinded by the league office.

Embiid finished with 31 points, 16 rebounds, seven assists, and six blocks on 12-of-22 shooting in the Sixers’ crucial 112-108 victory. Philadelphia now leads Brooklyn 3-1 in the teams’ first-round series.