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Embiid: Knicks fans’ invasion of Philly ‘not OK’

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PHILADELPHIA — After seeing a sea of Knicks fans invade Wells Fargo Center on Sunday afternoon to watch New York take a commanding 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven series against his 76ers with a 97-92 win, superstar center Joel Embiid expressed disappointment at hearing so many Knicks fans inside his home arena.

“Disappointing,” Embiid said, when asked about the Knicks’ fan support Sunday. “I love our fans. Think it’s unfortunate, and I’m not calling them out, but it is disappointing. Obviously, you got a lot of Knicks fans, and they’re down the road.

“[But] I’ve never seen it, and I’ve been here for 10 years. Yeah, it kind of pisses me off, especially because Philly is considered a sports town. They’ve always shown up, and I don’t think that should happen. Yeah, it’s not OK.”

Throughout the game, there were cheers whenever either team did anything successful, and the Knicks and 76ers fans went back and forth trying to drown the other side out.

At one point in the first quarter, the public address announcer got on the microphone and joked that there was one thing everyone in the building could agree on — then introduced Dallas Cowboys star linebacker Micah Parsons, who was showered in a universal cacophony of boos.

The unanimity quickly dissipated, however, as Knicks fans — who could get in to a playoff game for a fraction of the Madison Square Garden price by making the two-hour trip from the greater New York metropolitan area — made their presence known throughout Sunday’s contest.

“Our crowd did a great job,” 76ers guard Tyrese Maxey said. “We appreciate them. It’s a close two organizations. Like they’re right up the street from us, honestly. So, it is what it is, and you just got to go out there and you got to defeat that.”

The notion that it felt more like the Knicks paying a visit to the Brooklyn Nets in the regular season than the 76ers in a playoff game, however, was certainly jarring. Even New York star Jalen Brunson, a Philadelphia Eagles fan, admitted he was surprised by it.

“Not going to lie, this Philadelphia fan base, I’ve said this before, they’re very relentless, very passionate,” Brunson said. “I mean, I’m an Eagles fan. I would know.

“But seeing the Knicks, hearing the Knicks here is pretty cool. It’s awesome.”

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