Photo: Tony Dejak (AP)

For true lovers of drama, last night’s game between the Cavaliers and Sixers could not have been timed any better. After a week’s worth of speculation about LeBron James possibly choosing to sign with Philadelphia this summer, the Sixers came into Cleveland and gave The King a pretty enticing preview of how good life as a Sixer might be.

Philly won the game 108-97, and never once did it feel like they were overmatched by James’s star power. Joel Embiid scored 17 points, grabbed 14 rebounds, and flashed the “how does a guy his size do that?” skills that make everyone so desperate for him to have a long and healthy career. Meanwhile, rookie point giant Ben Simmons went for 18-9-8 and basically controlled the game from start to finish. James is on the record saying that Simmons has the chance to be even better than he is, and after last night’s game he continued to lay on the flattery:

Yeah, yeah, it’s just one NBA player saying nice things about another NBA player, but what if it’s also sign??! Remember earlier this week when James said it was “dope” that some Philly radio station had purchased billboards in Cleveland to try and woo him? Did you notice how chummy James was with Embiid during last night’s game?? They were laughing and talking a lot! LeBron to Philly: lock it in?

James has been through the free-agent sweepstakes enough times by now to know exactly what he’s doing, and he’s always had a knack for coyly stoking certain speculative fires. What that Instagram post means is that LeBron knows everyone is talking about him and Philly right now, and that he likes messing with us. It’s maddening, but it’s also undeniably fun, particularly when there are others out there willing to play along: