In the Philadelphia 76ers’ narrow victory over the Indiana Pacers on November 30th, things got a little heated toward the end of the game. With Tony “Make Up Call” Brothers refereeing, there were bound to be a plethora of whistles. On top of that, the Pacers and Sixers are both big, physical, defensive squads. Tempers inevitably flared.
For the Pacers, the game reached it’s boiling point in the closing minutes. After the Sixers had gotten to the line at a high rate all game, the Pacers delighted to have a call go their way when Joel Embiid was whistled for a foul on Domantas Sabonis with 2:20 left in the contest. On the ensuing possession, Embiid went face up on Sabonis, drove about two steps and hoisted a shot as Brothers blew his whistle on Sabonis for fouling Embiid. I wouldn’t have blown the whistle either time.
For Sabonis, it was his 6th personal of the game — he was done. Waves of goodbye panned the Wells Fargo Center and this courteous gentelmen kindly pointed Sabonis in the direction of the nearest exit:
Sabonis and the Pacers were livid. So livid that assistant coach Dan Burke hasn’t quite gotten over it. In fact, he hates the Sixers:
Dan Burke discusses the 76ers.— The Fieldhouse (@FieldhouseEtc) December 3, 2019
We stan. pic.twitter.com/X7jHsFUA1t
On the scale of beefable trash talk, this is on the lower end, maybe a 2/10. But it’s so very peculiar. You hardly ever see NBA assistant coaches talking to cameras about strategy or development, let alone producing bulletin board material. Here’s Dan Burke of the Indiana Pacers going out of his way to tell the world he hates the Sixers.
The Sixers play the Pacers three more times this season. The next two, Dec. 31st and Jan. 13, are at Indy. But the final bout between the two teams will take place in South Philadelphia on March 14th. I am very much looking forward to the meetup.