Contrary to popular belief, NBA players aren’t superhuman; they need a breather to recharge their minds and bodies just like everyone else. So with their extended vacation, NBA All-Star Weekend, officially in the rearview mirror, Thursday night meant it was time to get back to work—and a number of players did exactly that.
With teammate Ben Simmons out with a bad back, Joel Embiid abused the Nets—who’ll be without Kyrie Irving for the rest of the season—with a nasty 39-point, 16-board outburst in the 76ers 112-104 win. And Embiid being Embiid, you already know he talked that shit afterward.
“Being the best player in the world, I just intend to keep coming out every single night and just play hard and trying to get wins and just go out and try to win a championship,” he told ESPN.
But Emiid wasn’t the only player eager to get back on the court last night. The Greek Freak dropped 33 points and 14 boards on the hapless Pistons in a 126-106 rout to maintain the Bucks’ blistering 70-win pace, while Russell Westbrook was tormenting what’s left of the Golden State Warriors until this happened:
With the Rockets up 35 points, 2017’s Most Valuable Player took the time to remind the Warriors as a staff, record label and a motherfucking crew that he’s fresh out of chill. After elbowing Golden State’s Damion Lee while grabbing a rebound, Westbrook proceeded to bark on damn near the entire team, including Klay Thompson, who was minding his light-skinned business on the bench in street clothes, before getting ejected.
Other games last night included the Kings beating the Grizzlies 129-125 behind 32 points from Harrison Barnes, but the real fireworks came from first-time NBA All-Star Trae Young, who torched the Heat with a career-high 50 points—including 20 in the fourth quarter—in the Hawks’ thrilling 129-124 come-from-behind victory.
But damn the scoreboard. Did you see what that dude did to Iggy’s ankles?
Dude has no respect for his elders and, of course, Twitter got every last joke off after holding a moment of silence for Iggy’s dignity.
Welcome back, NBA.