So, the phrase “curb stomp” has all sorts of racial connotations thanks to the movie “American History X” — but there really isn’t a more apt term to describe what happened to Boston Celtics forward Grant Williams during Friday’s game between the Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers. Williams was, albeit accidentally, curb stomped by Sixers big man and freshly minted Most Valuable Player Joel Embiid in a pivotal Game 3 of their Eastern Conference playoff series (both teams entered the game with a win apiece). The Celtics ultimately prevailed 114-102 to take a 2-1 series lead, but they didn’t pick that W up without a price paid in pain. In the 4th quarter, a loose ball situation saw Celtics star Jaylen Brown and Williams both dive for the ball. Embiid, who was already playing with a bulky knee brace due to an injury, gingerly tried to avoid having Brown or Williams roll up on his ankle (or worse yet, have his knee buckle and tear a ligament), but he missed the landing. Or, as a counter-point and much to Williams’ chagrin, Embiid stuck the landing. You can see the heart-stopping incident below:
WARNING: The following video contains imagery the viewer may find disturbing.Not unlike Super Mario crushing a Goomba under his brown suede shoes, the full force of Embiid’s 7-foot, 280-pound frame came crashing down on the back of Williams’ head and neck. It was a nasty injury that obviously required medical attention:
Shockingly, Williams, who is one of the Celtics’ more reliable role players, was able to return to the game after receiving said medical attention. As evinced by the very end of the above YouTube clip, he was understandably bleeding from his mouth and nose after being stomped on. But perhaps even more shockingly, Williams was a total and complete pro about the harrowing incident, as hot mics picked up the conversation between the two when Williams returned to the court:
Embiid accidentally stepped on Grant WilliamsGlad he’s okay 🙏 pic.twitter.com/TmxeQ5Sin2 — Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) May 6, 2023
“My bad,” Embiid is heard saying in apology. “I landed on your head?” “Hey, it’s the playoffs brother,” Williams responded. “Y’all fell,” Embiid explained, referring to Williams and Brown. “I tried to fall.” “I knew you were going for the ball,” Williams said. “I tried to jump over,” Embiid said, gently correcting what he was trying to do. [firefly_poll] Williams ended the brief exchange by letting Embiid know that all’s fair in love and playoffs: “It’s what we battle for, bro.” The Celtics will have the chance to take a commanding 3-1 series lead when Philadelphia hosts Boston in Game 4, which is slated for a Sunday matinee showing. This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.
Embiid went on to check on Grant Williams 🤝 https://t.co/BIkHs0JvBV pic.twitter.com/NAL5k003y2— ESPN (@espn) May 6, 2023