Sixers Get Harden

Photo+credits+to+Chris+Szagola

Photo credits to Chris Szagola

Isabella Lehr '24, Staff Reporter

Sixers on a 6-0 run, Edwards guarding Harden… James Harden driving and finishing! And so it begins: The Harden Era with the Sixers!” Kate Scott’s excitement could barely be heard through the cheers of electric fans. Although the Philadelphia 76ers were on a road game in Minnesota, the Sixers not only dominated on the court, but in the stands as well. Countless fans sported Sixers gear, specifically James Harden jerseys, which have skyrocketed to the #1 selling jersey in the NBA since the trade deadline. That night, Harden finished with 27 points, 12 assists, and 8 rebounds to help lead Philadelphia to a 133-102 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves. Despite only having joined the Sixers two weeks prior, Harden had already won over the hearts of Sixers fans.

On February 10th, 2022, amid a flood of rumors surrounding the NBA Trade Deadline and the Philadelphia 76ers in particular, reports announced nearly heartstopping news: James Harden had been traded to the Sixers. Philadelphia general manager Daryl Morrey skillfully pulled off what some may call a franchise-altering trade. Sixers’ Seth Curry, Andre Drummond, two first-round draft picks, and a certain player who won’t be named would be traded to Brooklyn for the Nets’ James Harden and Paul Millsap. The whole city of Philadelphia could let out a sigh of relief knowing they had acquired a seasoned vet in the form of shooting guard James Harden.

The internet, of course, lit up after reports of the deal were published, with some claiming the Nets had “won” the trade. However, James Harden is here in Philly to prove them wrong. “We’ve got a long way to go,” he stated after his debut in Minnesota. Later in a February news conference, Harden shared that he feels he and Sixers center Joel Embiid “complement each other.” Embiid reciprocated similar feelings to Harden, claiming that Harden’s arrival is more than creating offensive opportunities for Embiid. “(He’s) going to make our teammates better,” Embiid remarked of Harden; “It’s about giving them confidence, because when we get to the playoffs, we’re going to need them.”

As the NBA regular season comes to a close, the Sixers look forward to a playoff run and a chance at a championship. The team currently sits at the #2 spot in the Eastern Conference, with hopes to stay in that position. We have no idea what the future holds for the team, but for now, the Beard is here to stay.