PHOENIX SUNS

Sixers’ Embiid: Suns’ Ayton is ‘about to get his (expletive) kicked this year’

Sep 21, 2018, 5:04 PM | Updated: 5:09 pm

Joel Embiid. Deandre Ayton. Part 3.

And the newly drafted Phoenix Sun hasn’t even stepped on the floor yet.

The Philadelphia 76ers center was asked about Ayton on ESPN’s The Jump on Friday during a segment with the question “Who do you like talking trash to the most?”

“He’s about to get his (expletive) kicked this year,” Embiid responded.

Embiid first called out Ayton about an hour and a half after the draft, when he tweeted in apparent frustration over a comparison.

On The Jump, Embiid said former NBA All-Star Chauncey Billups had compared Ayton to Embiid during the draft.

“I can see the comparison because of the potential, he’s going to be good,” Embiid said. “But when you talk about like, he looks like Joel Embiid, I play on both sides of the court. I think I’m a good offensive player, a good defensive player, and I do it on both ends of the floor.”

There’s some truth to that. Embiid was one of three nominees for Defensive Player of the Year last season, while defense was one of Ayton’s question marks coming into the league.

But despite the trash-talk-filled segment, Embiid did compliment Ayton.

“I watched him play and he’s got a lot of work to do but he’s got a lot of potential,” Embiid said. “He’s going to be really good.”

Ayton has expressed excitement over playing against Embiid, who has emerged as one of the premier players in the league over the last two seasons.

He drew a picture of himself dunking on a player that appears to be Embiid, with what looks like a “PHI” and the No. 21 written on the jersey, for Panini America, a card company doing the rookie photo shoot.

Embiid took to Twitter shortly after to respond.

The Jump host Rachel Nichols asked the Philadelphia center if his feelings were similar to Shaquille O’Neal, a former MVP, who disliked being compared to Dwight Howard when the current Washington Wizards center entered the league in 2004.

“I’m not upset,” Embiid said. “I’m more mad at Chauncey for not doing his research.”

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