Before they were NBA rivals, Minnesota Timberwolves star Karl Anthony-Towns and Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid were friends in high school. Like many NBA prospects, Towns and Embiid had a relationship long before entering the pros.
Once they both stepped onto basketball’s bigger stage, the togetherness was gone. Embiid, a well-known speaker and a troll on the pitch, has always found ways to get inside the heads of his opponents every night.
Towns, who is one of Embiid’s fiercest contenders, has never backed down from the Sixers star. So when the two would go head to head in the NBA, things would tend to get hectic. And during the 2019-20 season, the differences between Embiid and Town reached new heights as they faced each other physically on the pitch, resulting in double knockouts.
After that night in November 2019, Embiid and Towns continued to shoot each other via social networks. It seemed like there was a point of no return from that point on, as Embiid and Towns weren’t holding back.
But a few years later, it seems the two have settled their differences. Last month, when the Sixers hosted the Timberwolves in Philadelphia, Embiid and Towns were spotted chatting ahead of the whistleblower. After the game, the Minnesota center revealed he told Embiid he was happy to see he was okay and had recovered from COVID-19.
After that November 2021 game between the Sixers and the Timberwolves, it looks like Embiid and Towns are back on good terms as the Minnesota big man revealed their issues were resolved.
Back in good condition
“The last time we played in Philly I had a great conversation with Embiid,” Towns said during his live broadcast with Adin Ross. “I think one of the great things about it was – it’s not great, I won’t say great – but like I meant what I said afterwards. I never want anyone to mind. COVID. We had this little moment. You know what I’m trying to say? I know my mom was involved, but I don’t, you know, I never wish that on anyone. Even my worst enemy.
According to Towns, Embiid has sympathized with him after everything he’s been through in the past year and a half as the COVID-19 pandemic has affected his family in the worst possible way.
“You know, we really talked for most of the game, and we caught up a bit because we were good friends,” he continued. “Especially in high school, so I just told him like my brother, I know it deeper than basketball. I just told him during the game, like whatever happens in this game and whatever the hell is going on. like, I just want you to make sure you’re okay, and take care of your family. If you need me for anything, you have my number. The number hasn’t changed since we we know. Hit me.
Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for Sports Illustrated. You can follow him for live updates on Twitter: @JGrasso_.