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Marcus Smart on his dust-up with Joel Embiid - “I could’ve cracked his head open, but I didn’t”

The beef between Smart and Embiid continues
Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart and Philadelphia 76ers superstar Joel Embiid

Marcus Smart, Joel Embiid

It was only the first night of the regular season, but tempers have already flared between rivals Marcus Smart and Joel Embiid. The two stars got mixed up early in the third quarter of the matchup between the Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers. And Smart had a lot to say after the game.

The play in question

Their dustup occurred around 20 seconds into the second half. Embiid and Smart were fighting for a board when they got tangled up. The Sixers center, who won the rebound battle, appeared to pull Smart's arm, and things got chippy after that.

Other players got involved, including Jaylen Brown of the Celtics, who defended their actions after the game. "Embiid was getting away with a lot of unnecessary pushing and shoving," the Celtics' star said. "We're not taking no mess this year."

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While Boston eventually ran away with the victory, its players still seemed agitated by Embiid's actions throughout the night.

The Smart-Embiid beef

The altercation on Tuesday was not the first time things got out of hand between the two. They seem to share a dislike, as evidenced by their actions in previous years.

For instance, in a regular season match between the Celtics and Sixers in 2019, the 6-foot-3 guard shoved Embiid from the back after the All-Star big man set a hard screen that had Smart falling to the ground. Smart was ejected for the play.

Some fans have traced their beef back to their college days. After Embiid's University of Kansas team defeated Smart and Oklahoma State University in an NCAA game, Embiid took a shot at his rival on Instagram.

It will be interesting to see how their remaining matchups this season will turn out. The division rivals will face off three more times in the regular season.

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