The encore, January 28th:
And in the clash of Yin against Yang, Russell Westbrook peeled his unflappable killer instinct off the hardwood to notch his second consecutive victory over Joel Embiid and unwavering need to mock, troll, and embarrass his opponents.
But let's be real here, who won a late January, inter-conference matchup between middling playoff teams isn't what's important here. What's really important is the blossoming of a rivalry between two otherworldly talents whose personalities are so different that they are oddly similar. In a league that prides itself on the pettiness of it's participants, the cocky-go-lucky jokester and the cut-throat assassin - who are both shamelessly unafraid in showcasing their personalities - represent both ends of the temperament spectrum in equally compelling ways.
I'm pretty sure that Joel Embiid only plays basketball because of the laughs that come along with it, while Russell Westbrook considers basketball no laughing matter. If opposites truly attract, then this one is a fatal attraction, because if the basketball gods ever smile bright enough upon us to deliver a Thunder/Sixers finals matchup then the after-the-whistle entertainment would make Kobe and Dwight Howard look like lifelong BFF's by comparison. Joel Embiid wants to show that he has soul and Russell Westbrook wants to steal that of every person he plays against, but pit them against one another with stakes on the line and I refuse to believe that oil versus water wouldn't make for a Jack and ginger ale-esque viewing experience. 'The Process' versus the perennially pissed off. Man, if they were just in the same conference, Kevin Durant and 35 internet aliases might temporarily be off the hook.