The Philadelphia 76ers never needed James Harden

The Philadelphia 76ers never needed James Harden

The city of Philadelphia is riding high at the moment, being home to arguably the best team in the NFL and the hottest team in the NBA. The 76ers are off to a 6-1 start and are on a six-game winning streak. They haven’t tasted defeat since opening night against the Milwaukee Bucks. And they are 4-0 since James Harden was deported to Los Angeles. However, the real story here is how Philly never really needed Harden.

Let’s keep it real for a second. If not for Daryl Morey swooping into Philly, the Sixers might never have thought of acquiring Harden at that stage of his career. As we all know, Harden was (strong emphasis on was) a Morey guy. In fact, the Beard was Morey’s main guy until he forced the exec’s hand and even called him a liar publicly, then doubled down on his comments.

Philly never needed the version of Harden they got. A few years prior, had they been able to make a move for prime MVP Harden, maybe that’s a different story. They probably wouldn’t have been a championship team, but a conference finals appearance may have been feasible. Nonetheless, Morey had to have his dude, and he got him. Then he got burned, spat on, and stabbed in the back because the 76ers changed their minds on a new long-term deal.

Back to basics

This really should’ve happened sooner, or maybe even not at all. The duo of Joel Embiid and Tyrese Maxey are more than capable of carrying this team. They can make it at least as far without Harden, if not further. They’d been stuck in the second round of the playoffs for years prior to his arrival. With Harden, they went just as far. James is about numbers and always has been. There’s nothing wrong with that, as that’s how players get big paydays, but that attitude rarely leads to winning championships.

Now, the Sixers are in the best position they’ve been in quite a few years. The team’s anthem for the rest of the season should be “No More Drama” by Mary J. Blige. They went from Ben Simmons and all of his nonsense right into Harden and his entitled ass. The past two and a half years have been nothing but distractions circulating within that 76ers organization.

It’s finally time to get back to worrying about nothing but basketball….hopefully. Besides the possibility of Embiid getting fed up and bouncing, the Sixers have little to worry about. Other than Embiid moving on as he alluded to during the offseason. If they keep playing like this and Maxey continues to improve, Embiid won’t be going anywhere. Hell, they may even stand a chance at finally advancing to the Eastern Conference Finals for the first time since Allen Iverson led the charge. 

Original source here

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About the Author

Anthony Barnett
Anthony is the author of the Science & Technology section of ANH.