Even though their teams only play each other twice a year, Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert and Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid have had a rivalry for a number of years both on and off the court.
On Wednesday, ESPN’s Jackie MacMullan wrote a lengthy feature about the 76ers’ fresh start under new head coach Doc Rivers, and in it, Embiid took a bit of a jab at Gobert.
After relaying an anecdote of Embiid hearing about the three All-NBA teams that were named after last season, MacMullan quoted Embiid (who didn’t make any of the teams while Gobert made Third Team) as saying, “I agree that Anthony Davis had a better season than me,” Embiid says. “(Nikola) Jokic? That’s debatable. But Rudy Gobert? No offense, but he (averaged) 15 (points) and 13 (rebounds) and I had my 23 and 12, and that’s kind of a big difference. I think my numbers were better. But people didn’t want to vote for me because our team didn’t do well.”
Like Gobert often does when he feels slighted, Embiid added, “That’s OK, because I will use it to motivate me so there is no chance that anyone can make that mistake again.”
Utah and Philadelphia aren’t slated to play each other until a Feb. 15 game in Salt Lake City, and they will play again on March 3 in Philadelphia in the Jazz’s last game on their schedule.