Joel Embiid thought James Harden was going to be extraordinary with his performance when he moved from Rockets to Philadelphia 76ers but it seems he was wrong as he’s now realized that James isn’t the same as when he was with the Rockets.
Joel expected more from James Harden but that’s not what’s happening at the moment and he seems disappointed via SI;
Prior to James Harden joining the 76ers, Joel Embiid had aspirations of competing for an NBA championship with a superstar guard in town. When Harden joined the squad, it seemed as if the missing piece to the championship-caliber team had arrived. Harden’s offensive prowess had driven the Rockets close to championships multiple times, but had never gotten over the hump.
However, after Miami eliminated Philadelphia with a 99–90 Game 6 win on Thursday, Embiid told reporters that fans may have to adjust to the way they view Harden in the 76ers’ offense.
“Obviously, I am sure since we got him, everybody expected the Houston James Harden but that’s not who he is anymore,” Embiid said. “He is more of a playmaker.”
To Embiid’s point, Harden averaged the most points per game of his career, both in the regular season (36.1 points per game) and in the playoffs (31.6 ppg), during his time with the Rockets. With Philly, Harden averaged career low shooting percentages and just 21 points per contest.
Harden’s closest resemblance to the Houston version of himself came in Game 4 when he exploded for 31 points.
Basically, Embiid is saying that Harden is old and slow now and you can’t expect any more 30-point triple doubles from him on a consistent basis. All that partying at strip clubs and with Lil Baby have caught up with Harden and his body is breaking down at the age of 33. He likely doesn’t have too many good years left and I wouldn’t be surprised if he is out of the league sooner than later.
Flip to the next page for Joel Embiid’s tweet and reactions from NBA fans…