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Smart claims Embiid tried to break his arm: “I could’ve cracked his head open”

Celtics guard Marcus Smart was bemused as only he was whistled for a technical foul after tangling with Joel Embiid.

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - OCTOBER 18: Marcus Smart #36 of the Boston Celtics and Joel Embiid #21 of the Philadelphia 76ers are separated by referee Brian Forte #45 during the second half at TD Garden on October 18, 2022 in Boston, Massachusetts. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.   Maddie Meyer/Getty Images/AFP
Maddie MeyerAFP

Marcus Smart proclaimed that it was thanks to his own maturity that an altercation with Joel Embiid didn’t escalate into something much worse. He also claimed the Philadelphia 76ers center tried to break his arm.

Reigning Defensive Player of the Year Smart has had a long-standing rivalry with Embiid. The Boston Celtics guard has been ejected eight times in his NBA career, with one of those coming against the 76ers in 2019 after he shoved Embiid to the ground when his back was turned.

Smart stayed on the court on Tuesday, although he was whistled for a technical foul – the third against the 76ers of his career – following another tussle with Embiid in a 126-117 Celtics win. The players’ arms became tangled as they battled for a rebound, before Smart angrily grabbed the ankle of Embiid, who dropped to the floor. Embiid, who has only once been ejected from an NBA game and never against the Celtics, avoided punishment.

“I went for a rebound. Basketball play,” Smart said. “I went for the steal. Basketball play. The referee blows his whistle, calls a foul. I stop playing, my arm’s still stuck in there, and [Embiid] tries to break it. And then I’m the only one who gets a tech. Everybody saw it.”

He added: “I don’t have to keep talking about it. If I did that, I’m probably ejected, suspended three games, four games, fined. But the fact that I was the only one that got something out of that is beyond me. Especially as defending DPOY, and that’s how he gets treated. It’s tough. It’s maturity. I could have cracked his head open, but I didn’t. And that’s the maturity we have. So, we move on from it. It is what it is, and we control what we can control.”


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