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October 31, 2019

Joel Embiid, Karl-Anthony Towns escalate fight on social media: 'Don't get it twisted, I own you'


If you were one of the poor saps like me who thought the Joel Embiid—Karl-Anthony Towns fight was over after the pair was ejected from Wednesday night's Sixers-Wolves game, boy, did you miss a lot while you were sleeping in the early hours of Thursday morning.

I present to you a brief timeline of what transpired following the fight in Wednesday night's game.

The fight happens

Embiid's explanation for the fight with Towns was simple — he believed he had flustered Towns by getting the best of him in the post, and after the Sixers successfully executed a double-team to force a turnover from Towns, it all went downhill from there.

"That's what I'm good at. I like to get in people's minds, I like to kinda [pick up] that real estate," Embiid told reporters after the game. "It's the game, we're just having fun, playing basketball, and then something like that is nothing, you just move on."

Cue the footage:

The Sixers react postgame

Embiid, describing his role in the fight at the podium — "That's what I'm good at. I like to get in people's minds, I like to kinda [pick up] that real estate...It's the game, we're just having fun, playing basketball, and then something like that is nothing, you just move on."

Mike Scott, asked for his thoughts on what happened — "Let’s get all the bad shit out — you don’t want to condone it, the kids are watching. We’ll see what the league does. But I loved it, it was great...that was great — f**k that, that was great, I enjoyed that. When your superstar plays like that and has that Philly toughness in him, I would say you kinda like to see that. We’ll see what the NBA does but shit, I was hype, I was turned up. I thought that was fun."

Al Horford, for his part, thought everyone should learn from the incident and move on — "It’s just one of those things that you don’t want to see in a game. Our game is a great game. That happened and it was unfortunate, but I do hope that they both learn from this. There’s just no place for that it in our game."

Well, uh, good luck with that one Al.

The Instagram posts begin

As usual, it was Embiid who got the first jab in on social media. 

"Great team win!!!" he said on Instagram. "I was raised around lions and a cat pulled on me tonight lmao @jimmybutler I missed being part of the 3rd stringers... I got his mom giving middle fingers. That’s some SERIOUS REAL ESTATE #FightNight #IAintNoBitch."

At this stage, still relatively harmless. And with the post coming in short of midnight on Wednesday, it would have left everyone a bit of time to get some rest and discuss this blip in the season in the morning.

But Towns, as he showed during the initial fight, was not about to take this one laying down. Accusing Embiid of cappin' — that's lying, for the less hip of you out there — and using clown emojis to drive his point home, Towns used a series of photos in an effort to prove he was the bigger and badder man.

(The "All Bark & No Bite" location tag is a thing of beauty, for the record.)

And that's when things started to get ugly. Not satisfied with taking the L in a social media war, Embiid shared a comment he left on Towns' Instagram page in a screenshot on his own IG story, accusing Towns of either hiding or deleting the comment in question.

"Imagine talking after a 20 pts loss," Embiid said. "You've been a p***y your [sic] whole life. That's why you were treated like a bitch by you know who. I ain't gonna put your business out by [sic] I got the facts about you. Don't get it twisted I OWN YOU."

Philadelphia's franchise center doubled down on the Instagram beef with a follow-up tweet, and well, you can judge the animosity for yourself.

This is, well, a little more personal than it seemed when the two duked it out on the court, and we'll see if there's more to come. I'm not the business of speculation, but draw your own conclusions about Embiid getting personal based on the former or current teammates both guys have played with.

And before I could finish up the previous paragraph, Embiid even doubled down on his offseason vow to give up trash talking.

I'll believe it when I see it, big fella. 

A bit of editorializing here — I don't think this is going to help either player's case to avoid or reduce the suspensions that will be handed down by the league. Had it stayed in the same playful spirit of Embiid's shadowboxing or even the first shot fired on Instagram, it might have been a different story, but this one went off the rails in a hurry. The best advice I can give to both of these guys is probably just to lay low and move on.

We'll keep updating this post with further, uh, developments as they happen.

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