After the Magic fell to the Sixers, 120-114, in their preseason opener on Monday, the battle between Mo Bamba and Joel Embiid continued on Instagram.
It was the continuation of a battle that first began over the summer, when during a pick-up game, Embiid dunked on Bamba and yelled “Welcome to the f****** league!” Shortly after, Bamba created a Twitter account…
Thank you @JoelEmbiid for such a warm welcome to the NBA .. Will see y’all Oct 1 @OrlandoMagic https://t.co/wFpmTCIkCv— Mo Bamba (@TheRealMoBamba) June 29, 2018
We had told you to brace yourselves for a social media feud between Bamba and Embiid. Well, October 1 arrived and the on-going big man feud did not disappoint.
Bamba, who came off the bench with about four minutes remaining in the first quarter, had 12 points on 4-for-5 shooting (hitting both three-point attempts!), and also had three rebounds and two assists in 17 minutes. And Bamba got at least a little bit of revenge on Embiid with this near-dunk on him…
@TheRealMoBamba pic.twitter.com/A0JklyqdeA— Orlando Magic (@OrlandoMagic) October 1, 2018
Though Bamba didn’t throw it down with authority, it was a highlight-reel worthy moment for the rookie as he challenged the East’s premiere center without hesitation.
“That was a little personal ... flashback to a couple of months ago,” Bamba told reporters after the game. “I winked at him and I should have told him welcome to the league.”
Embiid went on to win their first match-up overall, with 21 points and seven rebounds in 23 minutes, but that didn’t stop young Bamba from taking the trash talk over to Instagram.
Bamba posted a photo of his “dunk” on Embiid with the caption, “Welcome to the ******* League Mo.” And Embiid responded…
Mo Bamba claps back at Embiid after getting some revenge on him tonight. pic.twitter.com/EpSsuvpfXa— The Lando (@TheLando__) October 2, 2018
Someone please give Bamba my address so he can send me one of these Christmas cards.
While this was the top highlight of the night for Bamba, the biggest concern in his debut was the foul trouble he quickly got into as the 221-pound rookie was often left to defend the 250-pound Embiid on his own. Bamba picked up four first-half fouls and collected his fifth personal with just under four minutes left in the third quarter.
“He’s really skinny, can’t guard me,” Embiid told reporters. “He had like four fouls in eight minutes, so he’s lucky I didn’t play more minutes or he would have fouled out in 10 minutes. But like I said. He has a lot of potential. I’m gonna keep trying to help him to become what he’s supposed to be, and I think he’s gonna be really good.”
It was an encouraging start to Bamba’s pro career as he showed confidence and assertiveness and didn’t back down from Embiid on the court or in social media comments.
We don’t have to wait long for the next match-up between Bamba and Embiid, as the Magic head to Philadelphia on October 20 for their first road game of the regular season. Let the feud continue.