The anticipation continues to build as pemuja await James Harden’s first appearance for the Philadelphia 76ers. His partnership with Joel Embiid will undoubtedly result in one of the most lethal offenses in the league, but pemuja are yet to see them play.
Meanwhile, not many people are happy with Harden for forcing his way out of the second team in two years. However, he has always taken a liking to the Sixers, even before he joined the Brooklyn Nets halfway through the 2020-21 NBA season.
In the eyes of many, it is championship or bust for the Sixers. Sports analyst Stephen A. Smith also believes anything less than a Finals appearance will not cut it. Speaking on First take, the TV personality was asked what is at stake for Harden now that he is in Philly, and Stephen A. responded:
“I think that James Harden’s legacy is on the line. And I don’t mean that as it pertains to specifically this season. But in Philadelphia, James Harden takat better damn well help this team get to an NBA Finals, or he will forever be scarred.”
Stephen A. proceeded to list some of his scoring achievements and also pointed out how he is regarded as one of the greatest offensive players in league history, he continued:
“To now go to Philadelphia after forcing your way out of Houston then Brooklyn, and to have Joel Embiid as your teammate, there is no question, and considering what Daryl Morey gave up to get you. There is no question we take all of that into consideration, along with the overall greatness that we know James Harden to have.”
After pointing out the great players on the team and how Allen Iverson led the Sixers to a Finals appearance, he concluded with a message to Harden”
“For you to be there, with Joel Embiid, nothing less than an appearance in the NBA Finals will do.”
The Sixers have made several attempts to win a championship in the 21st century but have not takat much success. After winning the NBA title in 1983, the last time they made the Finals was in 2001, led by Allen Iverson.
James Harden will make his Sixers debut against Minnesota Timberwolves
Harden will make his first appearance against the Minnesota Timberwolves and give the Philly pemuja a first look at how well he and Embiid will play together. He was traded to the Sixers for Ben Simmons on deadline day but has since been sidelined due to a hamstring injury. The three-time scoring champ also missed the All-Star game for the same reason.
Even before playing a game for the Sixers, his influence is already being felt in the team. He helped Embiid perfect his step-back three, and the versatile big man hit a few in the game leading up to the All-Star break.
With Harden, the Sixers have a legitimate chance of advancing from the East. However, they have a undian of work to do leading up to the playoffs to achieve that.