When in Memphis, you see Elvis. When in D.C., you see Lincoln.
When in Colorado?
You see Coach Prime.
“It was really cool, yeah,” Philadelphia 76ers forward Tobias Harris said of a Sixers team dinner with new CU Buffs football coach Deion Sanders on Tuesday night in Boulder. “We were all there asking questions and getting to understand his mindset and how he’s been so successful in his career and his coaching career.”
As part of training camp activities at CSU’s Moby Arena this week, the Sixers held a players-only meal to get an audience with Sanders, whose 3-2 Buffs visit Arizona State (1-4) on Saturday in an effort to snap a two-game losing skid.
Of course, because it’s Coach Prime, Sanders’ social media team had cameras at the ready, and a series of Deion quotes to the Philly players went viral on Twitter late Tuesday night.
Especially the part where Coach Prime appeared to jab reigning NBA MVP Joel Embiid about the big man’s propensity to “duck” games at Ball Arena against the defending champs and against the 2023 NBA Finals MVP, Nikola Jokic.
“A lot of folks duck that smoke right now,” Sanders told the Sixers. “They want to be Tarzan on paper. Don’t sell me the game, that this is what I’m going to get, but when I turn on the TV, I don’t get that. I don’t like that.
“If Embiid’s playing the Joker, I want to see Embiid vs. the Joker. I want to see that. And he goes and gets it, right? I love it. I love the matchup. That’s what I want to see; that’s why I stayed up. I didn’t stay up for nobody else to be on the Joker. I ain’t got time for that.”
Embiid, who denied the Joker a three-peat of winning league MVP honors, hasn’t played against the Nuggets and Jokic in Denver since Nov. 8, 2019.
“We love that (challenge), for sure,” Harris continued. “We were having a lot of funny conversations (with him) as well.
“But his big thing (was), he always wants to see competition and wants to see us be at our best, as a whole, as a group so that was cool.
“(Sanders is) different. He’s done it at so many levels, as an athlete and as a coach, so he’s got that swagger and that confidence that no one can really mess with him. And he backs it up. He talks the talk and he walks it as well.”
Did Embiid take umbrage with Sanders’ words in any way?
“Naw,” guard Danuel House replied. “Naw. We don’t … MVP. That’s all I’m gonna say. MVP.”