Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons

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Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons salute Boston fans: 'For the next decade, we're going to have a lot of fun battles'

John Tomase
May 10, 2018 - 9:55 am

Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons have a message for Celtics fans: no hard feelings.

Philadelphia's two young stars had nothing but praise for the TD Garden crowd and atmosphere after being eliminated from the playoffs in Wednesday's 114-112 Game 5 loss.

"Coming into this building and arena the fans are amazing here," Simmons said. "They're loud. They talk a lot of (expletive) to you. On that basis, it's hard to play here. But at the same time, I'm telling my teammates give everything you have, because that's all I can really ask for. I think I got that from everybody and you've just got to move forward."

Both Simmons and Embiid were the targets of chants all series, from, "Not a rookie!" and "Shoot!" for the former, and the less creative, "Embiid sucks!" for the latter.

Embiid, in particular, seemed to relish the back-and-forth, engaging with the crowd during an 11-point, five-rebound, two-assist, two-block third quarter that saw Philly roar back from an 11-point deficit to close within a point.

"When the fans told me I suck, I just want to show them that, you know, I don't," Embiid said. "I'm much better than you guys think. And I know they know that, too. But it's just fun to do. In the third quarter that's when the they were doing it, and I felt like I needed to take over. It wasn't enough, but I love being in that type of environment."

With Simmons about to win the Rookie of the Year award and Embiid establishing himself as the best young big man in the NBA, Philly's future is bright. Both players know these two teams will meet again.

Said Embiid: "They're a really good team, and for the next decade, we're going to have a lot of fun battles."

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