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Joel Embiid discusses ‘hostility’ in New York amid ‘F*** Embiid’ chants during Game 5 vs Knicks

In recent years, the crowd has made it a hostile environment for the teams hosted at Madison Square Garden. A few years ago, Trae Young was the one who received an extremely harsh reception. And this time, Joel Embid is the player that fans in New York are rooting for. Unlike Young, however, Embiid doesn’t want to start a rivalry with the fans at MSG. Instead, the Philadelphia 76ers big man even complimented the city and its residents.

The New York Knicks won Game 4 after a masterclass from Jalen Brunon. That’s why Game 5 was a do-or-die situation for Joel Embiid and co. With Tom Thibodeau’s boys holding a six-point lead with 28 seconds left in regulation, fans must have believed the first-round series was over. However, Tyrese Maxey put the team on his back and led the Philly squad by scoring seven straight points and forcing overtime. Ultimately, the Sixers earned a 112-106 victory, according to NBA.com.

After the action-packed thriller, JoJo was asked several questions and the topic of the hostile atmosphere at Madison Square Garden was brought up. Surprisingly, the 2023 MVP didn’t seem to have any complaints about the unruly behavior of the fans. He even admitted that he normally thrives on such energy, even though he was only able to record an inefficient 19-point triple-double tonight, according to NBA.com.

“It’s not hostile. I love New York. New York is my favorite city in the world. I’ve had a place here for five years. I just love New York… If I have to be the punching bag and you hear “F Embiid” a lot, that’s okay. I love it,” Embiid claimed.

Joel Embiid was repeatedly disrespected over the course of the game. Aside from the constant boos coming his way whenever he had the ball in his hands or during his forays to the free-throw line, a majority of the 19,000-plus crowd erupted in “f*** Embiid” chants.

The crowd’s hatred of Embiid, especially after Game 4, is understandable. After already kicking Mithcell Robinson and Isiah Hartenstein in the groin during Game 3, Embiid elbowed Jalen Brunson and dangerously stepped on Josh Hart. Whether these actions were intentional or not is unknown to anyone other than the Sixers big man.