‘It kind of pisses me off’

The New York Knicks took a 3-1 lead over the Philadelphia 76ers with their 97-92 Game 4 win on Sunday, putting them one victory away from an Eastern Conference semifinals appearance. The game took place at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, but if you didn’t know better, at times you might have thought they were at Madison Square Garden.

The support from Knicks fans was loud and consistent on Sunday, evidenced by the “Knicks in five” chant (and others that aren’t exactly NSFW) that erupted from a mob of fans in the arena after the game.

One of the craziest things I’ve ever experienced

Go #knicks pic.twitter.com/VYbIEgpbFY

— Kristopher (@KrisGerald) April 28, 2024
The Knicks fans’ presence was not appreciated by 76ers center Joel Embiid, who finished with 27 points, 10 rebounds and six assists on Sunday, and he offered his thoughts after the game.

“I love our fans. Think it’s unfortunate, and I’m not calling them out, but it is disappointing,” Embiid said. “Obviously, you got a lot of Knicks fans, and they’re down the road.

“I’ve never seen it, and I’ve been here for 10 years. Yeah, it kind of pisses me off, especially because Philly is considered a sports town. So, they’ve always shown up, and I don’t think that should happen. Yeah, it’s not OK.”

“Disappointing. I love our fans, think it’s unfortunate. I’m not calling them out, but it is disappointing… I’ve been here for 10 years, kind of pisses me off.”

  • Joel Embiid on the lack of home-court advantage and the significant amount of Knicks fans at Wells Fargo Arena pic.twitter.com/UcGX0LIkrn

— Knicks Videos (@sny_knicks) April 28, 2024
The proximity of the two cities could be used as an excuse, but the 76ers’ fans weren’t nearly as loud in New York for the first two games of the series. We all know the frenzy that Knicks fans can cause, and it was clear that the players noticed the reversal of what was supposed to be a home-court advantage.

“Seeing the Knicks here and hearing the Knicks here was pretty cool. It’s awesome,” said Knicks guard Jalen Brunson, who set a franchise playoff record with 47 points on Sunday. “It means that they’re for real. No matter where we are, they’re gonna be there. I’m appreciative, I’m thankful, and a lot of these situations wouldn’t be done without them.”

Isaiah Hartenstein echoed many of those sentiments, likening the New York faithful’s presence to that of European fans. That is about as high of a compliment can get when it comes to fandom.

Isaiah Hartenstein on Knicks fans traveling to Philadelphia: “The fans are special. It’s probably the closest you’ll ever get to European fans.” pic.twitter.com/FB6fGuaOJ0

— Knicks Videos (@sny_knicks) April 28, 2024
The Knicks will look to finish the series on Tuesday back at MSG, and it’s hard to imagine that any 76ers fans in attendance will be able to drown out the cacophony that the New York faithful will produce during a closeout game.

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