Drake was heckling Joel Embiid from his courtside seat at the Scotiabank Arena on Wednesday (April 20), but his actions ended up coming back to haunt him.
The Toronto Raptors hosted the Philadelphia 76ers in Game 3 of their first-round playoffs matchup in the Eastern Conference. Joel Embiid ended the first half with just five points, with Drake taking the opportunity to take jabs at Embiid by bringing up his struggles playing at the Scotiabank Arena.
“In the first half Drake was over there saying [Embiid] can’t play here,” Tobias Harris told NBC Sports. “I said, ‘He can play here, for sure.’ [Drake] was like, ‘Nah, he can’t play here.'”
But Drake was about to be in for a shock. Joel Embiid went off in the second half and overtime by putting 28 points on the board and ending with a game-winning three-pointer. After all the trash-talk Drake gave, Embiid wasn’t about to leave the arena without some final words.
“That’s what you call a fucking superstar,” Embiid said. “Get your ass up. I’m coming for the sweep too. You better be there. You ain’t gon’ show up.”
Drake replied, “Okay. I’ll be there, what you mean? I’ll be there for that 3-1.”
Joel Embiid and the Philadelphia 76ers have a history of difficult visits to the Scotiabank Arena, most notably in Game 7 of the 2019 playoffs when Kawhi Leonard called series with an epic semifinals buzzer-beater, with the Toronto Raptors then going on to win their first NBA Championship.
Embiid even went scoreless during a November 2019 game in Toronto, despite averaging 23 points per game that season. Drake was in attendance and mocked Embiid by sarcastically clapping and chanting “MVP” in his direction.
Drake was clapping at Joel Embiid who scored zero points against the Raptors ?? pic.twitter.com/VliJQxGuts
— TSN (@TSN_Sports) November 26, 2019
But Embiid broke the curse on Wednesday by knocking down a triple with 0.8 seconds left on the clock to give the 76ers a 3-0 lead.
“Honestly, I haven’t really thought about what happened three years ago,” Embiid told USA Today. “Obviously, the shot makes me feel good about what kinda happened, but during this whole series, I haven’t really thought about coming in here and trying to get my revenge. I think I’m more focused about trying to win the whole thing. One game at a time and try to do whatever is necessary to get us there.”
Joel Embiid ended the night with 33 points, 13 rebounds, two assists and one block. Game 4 is set to take place on Saturday (April 23) at 2 p.m. at the Scotiabank Arena.