The Philadelphia 76ers had a high-stakes game this past Wednesday night against the Brooklyn Nets. Although the Nets were shorthanded without James Harden, Kevin Durant, Blake Griffin, and more, the winner of the game still picked up sole possession of first place and garnered the tie-breaker between the Sixers and the Nets.
As expected, the Sixers did a solid job of taking care of business at home against Brooklyn. While their fourth-quarter performance against the Nets' backups was ugly, the 76ers ultimately found a way to close the game out with a win.
Sixers fans were feeling good. As their MVP-caliber center dropped nearly 40 points on Brooklyn, the crowd couldn't help but continue chanting 'MVP' every time Joel Embiid was headed to the free-throw line to put up some foul shots.
At a point, though, the topic of the arena-wide chants switched from cheering for Embiid and cheering against Brooklyn Nets star Kevin Durant. As the former MVP remained on the sidelines in street clothes with his team, Durant quickly became the center of attention and he wasn't sure why considering he wasn't playing.
Once ESPN's broadcast picked up on the KD-related chants, clips of the scene started going viral on the internet. The following morning, ESPN's Stephen A. Smith reacted to it and he believes that 76ers fans will regret lighting a fire under Durant like that.
“It is a huge mistake," Smith said on Thursday. "As knowledgeable as Sixers fans are, it is a huge mistake for them to be chanting that 'KD sucks.' That’s what they said about Kevin Durant. He was on the sideline looking like ‘I don’t understand, what the hell are they talking about me for?’ You’re going to rue the day you do that. We can say a lot of things about Kevin Durant. The one thing we cannot say is that this brother can’t ball. We certainly can’t say that. This dude is one of the top two players on the planet Earth when he is healthy, there’s no doubt in my mind."
The Sixers won't have to face Durant and the Nets anytime soon as Wednesday's game marked the third and final time those two teams would meet in the regular season. Now, the next time they will face each other would have to be in the playoffs. While it's not a guarantee the Sixers and the Nets will see each other again, many believe there's a chance they could see each other for a seven-game series deep in the playoffs.