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Embiid loves being 'punching bag' for Knicks fans

Elsa / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Warning: Story and videos contain coarse language.

Joel Embiid has become the favorite target of New York Knicks fans during their first-round playoff series, but the Philadelphia 76ers star is embracing his role as public enemy No. 1.

"It's not hostile. I love New York. New York is my favorite city in the world," Embiid told reporters postgame, per SNY.

Embiid added: "The fans, when you play against a team, they're always going to pick that guy ... If I've got to be the punching bag and you hear a lot of 'F Embiid,' that's okay. I love it."

The Garden faithful showered the seven-time All-Star with "Fuck Embiid" chants throughout Tuesday's Game 5 clash. Knicks fans also repeatedly taunted Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young when the two teams squared off in the postseason two years ago.

New York fans did the same thing in the main concourse area of Wells Fargo Center following the Knicks' Game 4 road win over the 76ers.

Embiid maintains that he hasn't been bothered by the rude reception. Instead, the two-time NBA scoring champ is using it as motivation as he looks to lead Philadelphia back from a 3-2 series deficit.

"It usually gets me going in those situations because you want to push yourself in those situations and kind of shut them up. But as long as you keep it basketball, they've been doing a great job, just supporting their team," Embiid said. "They've been amazing. That's why they're the Knicks. They get hyped about everything, and they've been doing a fantastic job."

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