Unearthed Video of Exchange Between Sixers’ Joel Embiid & Jayson Tatum Goes Viral

Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers

Getty Jayson Tatum #0 of the Boston Celtics speaks with Joel Embiid #21 of the Philadelphia 76ers.

The Philadelphia 76ers have little in common with the Boston Celtics. Both teams play in the Eastern Conference — the Atlantic Division to be exact — but the trajectories of both teams have been completely different over the last half-decade.

Both the Sixers and Celtics engaged in a rebuild during the mid-2010s. The Celtics netted superstars Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum, as well as defensive studs Marcus Smart and Robert Williams III. The Sixers, meanwhile, used their endless draft capital on a slew of missed picks — Ben Simmons, Markelle Fultz, Jahlil Okafor, Zaire Smith, and Nerlens Noel, to name a few. The Celtics exploded onto the scene at the halfway mark of last season, reaching the Finals, while Philadelphia floundered in yet another second-round exit.

But between Tatum and Joel Embiid, both franchises have a cornerstone star to build around.

And video filmed for the Pure Sweat Basketball YouTube channel recently resurfaced on Twitter, and it depicts Embiid asking Tatum about his experience in the Finals.

“Did you feel the pressure?” Embiid asked Tatum.

“Nah, the first game was like, I wasn’t nervous in the morning,” Tatum explained. When we ran out there for warm-ups, it hit me, how much was on the line.”

“Tryna figure out how it is so I can make it next year,” Embiid revealed with a smile.

“I know one thing, once you get there, if you don’t get back, don’t s*** else matter,” said Tatum.

There’s hardly been a less-urgent time for the Sixers and Embiid to make a deep playoff run than this year.

Embiid Projected to Request Trade if Sixers Flounder

Since the Sixers drafted Embiid in 2014, Philadelphia has yet to make it further than a second-round playoff exit. In fact, the Sixers haven’t made it to the Conference Finals since Allen Iverson was leading the charge over 20 years ago.

Thus the clock is ticking for Embiid and the front office. And according to Michael Pina of The Ringer, Embiid could be the next star to request a trade if the Sixers flame out of the playoffs yet again.

“After a playoff flameout in Round 1, the Sixers will be in shambles,” Pina wrote in a New Year’s predictions article. “Harden will sign with the Rockets, and Embiid will ask out. But, just as Brooklyn managed with Durant, Philadelphia won’t deal its perennial MVP candidate and the chaos will eventually blow over, with Embiid remaining on the only team he’s ever played for. (Bonus prediction: Embiid will not be an All-Star starter.)”

Everything is in line for Philadelphia to make a deep playoff run, however. The Sixers boast a top-ten defense and offense this season — something last season’s Celtics and 2021’s Bucks managed.

Further, the off-court turmoil surrounding the roster and Ben Simmons’ absence from it haven’t haunted Philadelphia this season. In fact, it’s been a relatively calm and stable season so far in the City of Brotherly Love.

Harden’s Chances of Leaving ‘Seven’ Out of Ten

Not only are the Sixers facing a potential reckoning with Embiid, but James Harden as well.

On Christmas Day, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Harden’s camp might have an eye on a reunion with the Rockets.

And more recently, Kelly Iko of The Athletic suggested a Harden reunion in the Lone Star State could be greater than 50%.

“I’m putting it at a seven out of 10. I think where there’s smoke, there’s fire. James loves this city. He loves those guys on the roster, the young players in Houston. He has ties to the city’s businesses. His home is here. Crazier things have happened, so, don’t call me crazy, but you might be seeing something different,” Iko said.

Harden’s contract includes a player option this summer. By opting out, Harden could renegotiate a much larger deal than the highly team-friendly one he took this season.