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Eric Bledsoe takes his punishment from Sixers and helps Suns grow stronger

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Eric Bledsoe said a silly thing on the radio that was a legit insult to the Philadelphia 76ers. And when it came time to take his lumps he didn't avoid the punishment for his mistake.

Let's make this really clear: Eric Bledsoe said a dumb thing on the radio when he claimed his former Kentucky Wildcats team would crush the current version of the winless Philadelphia 76ers in a seven-game series. He said it was a joke and it probably was because it's so obviously wrong as explained here.

BREAKING: Athlete says dumb thing on radio.

But here's where the story gets interesting. Going into Friday night's game in Philly Bledsoe apparently was aware that he pissed off fellow professionals (yeah, I know that term won't apply to half that roster for too long but whatever) and would be targeted for retribution.

"They were telling me before that if I came into the paint, they were going to do something dirty," Bledsoe said (via AZ Republic). "So I did it on purpose."

On the Suns very first offensive possession Eric went into the lane and took a flagrant foul from (ironically) former Kentucky Wildcat Nerlens Noel. Good stuff all around. Noel needed to stand up for his sorry team and Bledsoe wasted literally no time in standing up for his dumb comment.

How can you not love that?

The best part of all this for the Phoenix Suns is how silliness like this helps build team chemistry. Nothing brings a team together more than standing up together against an enemy. You saw that in how the team withstood the young Sixers first punch and turned the game into a rout thanks to the flaming hands of Isaiah Thomas and Gerald Green.

I don't know if the three point guard thing will work. I have my doubts. But if this team is going to recapture last year's magical chemical mix stuff like this will only help.

Here's how this whole thing looked from a Philly perspective.