It’s going to be at least three or four years before the 76ers and Lakers are both good enough to make it all the way to the NBA Finals—and that’s probably being generous—but if and when they do ever make it that far, the two teams are going to have one hell of a series.
A beef seems to be brewing between the two sides, and it’s all because of—who else?—LaVar Ball. During the NBA Draft in June, LaVar went on ESPN and said that he thinks the Lakers are going to be a playoff team now that they have added his son Lonzo to their roster. Lakers head coach Luke Walton immediately downplayed LaVar’s comments, but LaVar is, as usual, not backing down from what he said and once again trying to will his words into existence.
It’s nothing new for him, but LaVar’s playoff remarks led to this response from Sixers rookie Ben Simmons, who called LaVar "crazy" for his postseason prediction:
It also led to Simmons’ outspoken teammate Joel Embiid sending out this not-so-cryptic tweet about LaVar and Lonzo a short time later:
And LaVar responded to Embiid and Simmons during a radio interview on 97.5 The Fanatic. He didn’t hold back as he ripped the Sixers players for talking too much on social media.
"When you don’t win and don’t even make the playoffs and don’t even stay on the court long enough, that’s the best thing you can do is tweet," LaVar said. "These guys ain’t played a game, always hurt, and at the bottom of the totem pole. So guess what? Get your asses off the goddamn Twitter, and get in the gym."
Embiid and Simmons didn’t respond to LaVar’s interview right away, but on Sunday night as Embiid was hosting an Instagram Live session, someone asked him a question about LaVar. And while he didn’t provide a lengthy response to the question, he did share three words that seem to sum up exactly how he feels about LaVar at the moment.
"Fuck LaVar Ball," Embiid said.
NBA fans predictably went wild over the comment:
At some point, all of this will be settled on the court. But as of right now, it’s clear there’s no love lost between certain members of the 76ers and Lakers. And if the two teams ever do get good enough to make consistent Finals runs, this could be a fun rivalry for years to come.