The 76ers are trading for the Hawks’ Mike Muscala, which makes sense on multiple levels.
1. Philadelphia wanted a stretch four after Nemanja Bjelica backed out of his deal.
2. Muscala, on an expiring contract, carries no long-term drawbacks.
3. Because Muscala can also play center, that allowed the 76ers to dump Richaun Holmes and clear a roster spot for Jonah Bolden.
But Muscala might have to answer for these February comments about Philadelphia and Joel Embiid.
Muscala on the Road Trippin’ podcast (hat tip: Jeff McMenamin):
I don’t like the Sixers.
I just don’t like them. I just feel like they talk a lot of s—, especially Embiid.
I understand there’s going to be some trash-talking. But I just feel like – I don’t know. Sometimes, I just – I respect players that just let their play do the talking. And I think sometimes, it just gets excessive, especially with Embiid.
I don’t think it’s a bad thing for the league. I think it’s entertaining, and I think people can feed off of that. In a weird way, I respect him for being to do that, because it takes a lot of guts and confidence, at the same time.
This is a deal, but it’s not necessarily a big deal. The NBA has a long history of players clashing as opponents then meshing as teammates.
The biggest difference here is Muscala’s comments were public.
Sometimes, it takes a conversation to clear the air. Occasionally, the grudge lingers. But usually, this is just dismissed as just the byproduct of competition and moved past.
I doubt Embiid – who, for what it’s worth, is an excessive trash-talker – holds this against Muscala, save maybe a few jokes. I’m even more confident Muscala isn’t joining Philadelphia loudly espousing his anti-trash-talk stance.
Besides, trash-talking is way more fun when on a winner like the 76ers rather than a loser like the Hawks.