Joel Embiid singles out Sixers’ James Harden after winning MVP award
BOSTON–The Philadelphia 76ers pulled the trigger back in February 2022 to acquire James Harden from the Brooklyn Nets in order to have him team up with Joel Embiid and lead the Sixers to new heights. The two of them have combined to form one of the best tandems in the league on the court.
The pick-and-roll game between Harden and Embiid has been terrific and Harden’s playmaking and sacrifices have helped the big fella soar on the court. The Beard has clearly taken a step back and allowed Embiid to do his thing and his playmaking skills have helped him grow as a player.
Embiid led the league in scoring in the 2022-23 season on his way to winning the MVP award while Harden led the league in assists. The star big man made sure to give Harden his love for helping him win the award.
“James is, man, I don’t even know where to start,” Embiid smiled. “I think since he’s been here, I think he won’t tell me that, but I think he kinda made his goal for me to be the MVP. He’s given up a lot and obviously, I’ve always said it, he’s the best playmaker I’ve ever played with and he’s the best playmaker in probably the NBA.”
For Harden to go from ruthless scorer to elite playmaker has been a seamless transition. He has the ability to be a scorer when the time calls for it, such as Game 1 on Monday, but he has taken a bit of a backseat to Embiid and it has allowed everybody to succeed out on the floor.
“He’s been helping me as far as getting me easy opportunities whether it’s scoring the ball or just be a better basketball player on and off the court,” Embiid added of Harden. “He was just extremely happy for me just like they (his teammates) all were and that meant a lot for me. That meant a lot to me to know that your teammates care about you as much as I care about them.”
Embiid has been dealing with a sprained LCL in his right knee and it remains to be seen if he will be able to return for Game 2 against the Boston Celtics on Wednesday night.
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