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Joel Embiid Opens Up On His On-Court Rivalry With Kevin Durant: "There's Only A Few Guys That Can Bring It Out Of Me And KD Is One Of Those Guys. He's Just Talking Nonstop. I Love That Energy And He's Competitive."

Joel Embiid Opens Up On His On-Court Rivalry With Kevin Durant: "There's Only A Few Guys That Can Bring It Out Of Me And KD Is One Of Those Guys. He's Just Talking Nonstop. I Love That Energy And He's Competitive."

Joel Embiid and Kevin Durant have a fantastic competitive rivalry which will be fun to see play out if their teams match up in the playoffs. If the 76ers can climb up to the second seed and the Nets end up being the first winner in the Play-In tournament, the teams could face each other in the first round.

Embiid and Durant have had many on-court moments of altercations. Considering the added fuel of the James Harden-Ben Simmons trade between the two teams, there are a lot of things that have created the perfect rivalry. However, the rivalry exists just on the court.

Embiid was a recent guest on J.J. Redick's podcast and discussed his rivalry with Durant on the court, talking about their many on-court altercations. Redick showed Embiid a clip from this season when he and Durant got into a verbal match after KD fouled Embiid in the post.

"I don't forget anything. I still remember Giannis sitting on our court a couple of years ago, so I've got to get him back for it in the playoffs. But going back to this, the history of me and KD. He waved me our first game when they beat us in Brooklyn and the second game, we beat them so I had to tell him to get off his home court."

"We talk about flopping, I feel like this was a flop. If you're man enough, if you get hit, don't flop. Stay up. I don't wanna talk about what was said, but it was something like 'I am staying here'. I was like, 'if you're staying there, why are you flopping'? It doesn't make sense." 

Embiid got a little chirpy while discussing these incidents, but instantly clarified that he has nothing but respect and admiration for Durant, so this rivalry isn't one that will extend off the court and become personal. 

"I love KD. I've mentioned so many times that I think I can do everything on the basketball court. But if they're someone else that can do the same stuff as better, he's the one guy I would take. He's so freaking talented and so good, whether it's scoring the ball or doing whatever on the Basketball court, so I have a lot of respect for him. He's always talking trash, for no reason sometimes. That's just the way he plays. I love his intensity"

Durant is inarguably one of the most effortless scorers the game has ever seen. He is incredibly smooth offensively and has this uncanny ability to shoot over anyone. While KD is way more mobile than Embiid, the two do share a similar mold in terms of being really tall players that have a nice shooting touch.

Embiid does play a lot bigger than KD, as Durant has spent most of his career as a forward while Embiid is a true center. But the respect for Durant's offensive arsenals is something that would come naturally to Embiid, who is trying to perfect that craft at his size. 

But outside the respect Joel has for KD, he explained why they get into such heated trash-talking battles. Embiid is known to get into trash-talking spats and is quite flamboyant in terms of his taunts on the court, something he talks about having to control nowadays, but he can't control that against Durant. 

"In the past I was all over the place, whether it was talking trash or cussing people out. There's only a few guys that can bring it out of me and KD is one of those guys. He's just talking nonstop. I love that energy and he's competitive. He knows how good he is, he knows no one can stop him and he uses that to his advantage."

Durant is in his 15th NBA season, so it is natural that younger players like Embiid have such respect for him. In addition, KD is going to go down as one of the most unique players ever. There are a lot of things Embiid should admire in terms of how KD evolved his game. However, the respect and admiration will also add fuel for Embiid when the pair match up, as playing against Durant evidently motivates Embiid as few other things can.