The Philadelphia 76ers and the Los Angeles Lakers may have just renewed a rivalry that has been dead for a few decades. Back in the days, it was Magic Johnson and Julius Erving, now it’s the new crop of players in Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, and Lonzo Ball. During the 2017 NBA Draft, LaVar Ball said his son’s Lakers would make the playoffs in his first season. Following said interview, Simmons took to Twitter with this post:
— Ben Simmons (@BenSimmons25) June 22, 2017
However, the fun didn’t end there. His teammate, Joel Embiid followed that up with a classic zinger that’s reserved for playground trash-talk:
Please dunk on him so hard that his daddy runs on the court to save him.. https://t.co/cMvt5RYiSQ
— Joel Embiid (@JoelEmbiid) June 22, 2017
This is what 76ers, Lakers fans have waited for. It’s the excitement that’s been missing from both teams. The fans are ride or die but to see this kind of message being sent from the players has to ease the worries on both coast. For the Lakers, the team is trying to move forward after the Kobe Bryant era and are in desperate need of a shot in the arm. The 76ers are finally up from under that dark cloud that was titled “Trust the Process” and are looking to make a run in the Eastern Conference in 2017.
With the 76ers selecting Washington guard, Markelle Fultz and the Lakers taking Ball back-to-back that was the first spark to the new rivalry as Ball and Fultz met up in the Pac-12. Now, their careers will cross paths twice next season and fans should expect some great games.
The Lakers acquired Brook Lopez to pair with Ball, Jordan Clarkson, and Julius Randle while the 76ers will throw their young core of Embiid, Simmons, Fultz and Dario Saric at all challengers.
What remains to be seen is how both teams will adapt to their new teammates. The Lakers will have 2 new additions to the starting five with Lopez and Ball and the 76ers will be adding Fultz and last year’s No. 1– Simmons to the rotation.
While the league is getting ready for a possible Warriors vs Cavs rematch, the Lakers and 76ers are building what could be a classic rivalry themselves.