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‘Am I still the one to give up?’: Former MVP on the challenges he faced teaming with the superstars of the Brooklyn Nets

James Harden’s experiment ended in Brooklyn without much success. Harden received a lot of criticism for wanting to get out of a situation that wasn’t working. While speaking to Fox Sports about the situation, Harden spoke for himself.

“Am I still the one to give up?” Harden said.

Harden wanted to leave Brooklyn after not having the team he wanted to play with on the court. There were injuries and Kyrie Irving not getting the COVID-19 vaccine cost them many games. When Harden talked about wanting to leave, he also mentioned that Kevin Durant also wanted to leave the Nets this summer.

Harden is now a member of the Philadelphia 76ers and is paired with MVP candidate Joel Embiid. The team lost in the second round of the playoffs last season to Miami in the Eastern Conference semifinals, but the 76ers (15-12) are back with a revitalized roster.

“I knew people were going to speak up and say, ‘Quit’ and all that, but then the next summer, the other superstar there [Durant] he wanted to leave. So it’s like: Am I still the one to give up?” — James Harden (via @YaronWeitzmanfoxs.pt/3W382Jb)

Harden returned to the Sixers’ lineup after an injury sidelined him for a month, and he’s been doing great. He is averaging 22.3 points, 12.5 assists and 6.0 rebounds per game for a team that has won three straight.

The team will face the Golden State Warriors (14-15), challenged on the road and without Stephen Curry, at home on Friday night.


Joel Embiid and James Harden dynamic duo

The Philadelphia 76ers will have their first full season of James Harden and Joel Embiid together. These two players may be the best inside and outside hitters in the league. Harden, obtained in the Ben Simmons trade in February, is a former league MVP, and Embiid is a hopeful candidate.

In their first 6 games together this season, James Harden and Joel Embiid had an ORTG of 111.5 and a DRTG of 108.3 and went 2-4. In their last 4 games, they have an ORTG of 123 with a DRTG of 104.3. They are 3-1 in that span. They are beginning to realize it. #MinutesOfMiedo. https://t.co/4fZiBG8GUe

Over the past two games, Harden has had 15+ assists in both contests while Embiid has tallied 31 and 53. Over the past four games, Embiid is averaging 40.3 ppg and 9.5 rpg. During that span, they’re getting James’ 22.3 ppg and 12.5 apg. If they can continue like this, it will be almost impossible to stop them.

The team ranks fifth in the Eastern Conference standings. They will need to move up to at least fourth place to have home field advantage in a first-round series. The team is just six games out of first place in the conference with more than half the season remaining.

Harden, 33, is a 10-time All-Star and a member of the NBA’s 75th Anniversary Team. He has been both MVP (in 2017-18) and Sixth Man of the Year (in 2011-12). He has led the league in scoring three times and assists once.

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Edited by Joseph Schiefelbein



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