“What did he call me, ‘ass,’ or ‘trash’ or something?” Whiteside said Sunday following the Heat practice. “He called me ‘softy.’
“Come on, man. He knows that’s not true. I’ll be on his team’s scouting report.”
The two 7-footers had an entertaining exchange after it was reported that Embid told the Heat to remove Whiteside from the game after he drew a foul on Whiteside.
Whiteside shot back on Twitter that it was “funny how ya’ll don’t show me telling him the same and (Embid’s) 1-7 shooting or the first 2 flops.”
Embid then countered: “They had to take your ass out or you would’ve fouled out in 5 min. …” Along with: “And keep caring about stats and not your team success. … your +/- was ass.”
Whiteside’s final dig: “Joel Embid 31 games in 3yrs Hopefully I get to see you regular season.”
Although the insults appeared to get personal, Whiteside downplayed it Sunday saying in his younger days he might have been more outraged.
“It’s funny to me,” Whiteside said. “I mean that’s what we do, man. Ever since last year, my very first words to Embid was, ‘Man, I’m glad to see you back on the court.’ He told me we’re going to bring the center position back. And after they won, he called me, ‘barbeque chicken.’ So I was waiting to get back at him.
“It’s funny to me. I’m going to talk trash back if somebody talks trash to me. Maybe when I was younger, I would have been a little more angrier, I’d have been a little madder. But, you know, that’s the kind of guy he is. He makes joke. He’s a good player, so it’s all fun to me. I can go all day with it.”
Heat coach Erik Spoelstra was “OK” with the exchange.
“You’ve got two big titans,” Spoelstra said. “This is two competitive guys, two teams that have big aspirations and both teams are putting a lot of responsibility on those big shoulders, those centers and it’s almost a throwback to yester year of this league of two dominant impact players at the center position. I’m all for it.
“The trash talking and all that? Whatever. I don’t care about that. But in terms of two guys wanting to compete against each other, that’s good for the game, that’s good for them, that’s good for both franchises and you’re not seeing as much of that from that center position anymore.”
The teams do not meet until Feb. 2 in Philadelphia, the first of four games in five weeks.
“Yeah, man, you know fans love it, man,” Whiteside said. “Fans get into it. I love it, too. Because I know the next time we play him, he’s going to give it all, he’s going to go as hard as he can. And as a competitor, that’s what you want. You want your opponent to play at his maximum speed.’