Photo: Associated Press

As all eyes are watching upon the recent jawing incident, Kevin Durant has no hard feelings for Joel Embiid. And in the media availability, the Brooklyn Nets superstar told reporters what went on in the trash talk, via Sports Illustrated:

“If you’ve been watching Joel and I play against each other, it’s been like that every game, even the All-Star Game,” Durant said. “We just respect each other so much that natural competitive fire comes out.”

“So it’s the name of the game … I like the energy they played with tonight, we love competition and it’s gonna make it look better.”

In the dying seconds of the Nets’ clash against the Philadelphia 76ers on Thursday night, Durant and Embiid exchanged some words which resulted in technical foul assessments. At the last buzzer, the star center even delivered a goodbye wave against Brooklyn, which made the two-time MVP approach and continue the talking.

“Hell no, he ain’t really say nothing, I think I was just turned up,” Durant told the media when asked if Embiid gave an offensive line on the heated play. “He didn’t say nothing that crossed the line.”

“We all respect each other out there. I respect his team, I respect all the players on his team, and vice-versa. It’s just how we play.”

Durant also said that he is happy that he brought the best out of Embiid, who made a payback in his waving gesture earlier this season.

“I’m sure they ain’t like that. But I’m glad that I can bring the best out of an opponent and they come out here played extremely hard. Like I said, it’s only gonna make them better as a player, and as better as a team … I told them I’ll keep the same energy regardless of win or lose, I am still be unique.”

On a separate note, Embiid gave his respect to Durant, whom he called a more talented player than him which he truly respects.

“That’s the best team in the conference,” said Embiid, via Ky Carlin of Sixers Wire. “Obviously, I respect them a lot. Judging by the way he was acting last time, that’s the same thing he told us. Basically, we returned the favor, but there’s a lot of respect. I always tell people, I think I can do everything on the basketball court. There’s not a lot of guys that are able to do it and if there was one player that I think is more talented than me, it’s definitely him. I have a lot of respect for him and admire his game.”

Though the Sixers came out on top to outlast the Nets, 110-102, it’s good to see that in spite of the forming drama and hype, these two current icons of the game are showing admiration for each other. At the end of the day, enjoying the competitive moment would matter the most.

East powerhouses Brooklyn and Philadelphia are scheduled for a rematch on March 11 – certainly a date to be circled which might add another story between Durant and Embiid.