Ex-Celtics Champ Sounds Off on Sixers Stars James Harden, Joel Embiid

Joel Embiid and James Harden

Getty Images Joel Embiid and James Harden of the Philadelphia 76ers.

Former Boston Celtics world champion Kendrick Perkins had his pulse on the James Harden trade before it happened. Perkins knew his former teammate was itching to team up with Joel Embiid. And he correctly predicted it.

Eight months later, Perkins was ready for some follow-up prophecies. The ESPN analyst chatted with Brandon “Scoop B” Robinson of Bally Sports and dished on the state of the Philadelphia 76ers. Perkins sees another MVP push for Embiid, along with the maturation of Harden as an elite point guard in the NBA. His days as a 30-point scorer are over.

“James Harden is going to come out and embrace the point guard role so much that we’re actually going to be talking about him being the best point guard in the NBA,” Perkins told Robinson. “I think that he don’t think that he gets enough credit for that s***. A great scorer to actually turning into a great point guard? I mean, he did average almost 10-plus assists last year, you know what I’m saying? So that’s why I’m interested.”

Harden averaged 21.0 points and 10.5 assists in 21 regular-season games last year for the Sixers. But he caught heat for deferring to teammates instead of attacking. His many critics wanted to see Harden take over games in the postseason. That’s not him anymore. The “Houston James Harden” retired.


Harden, Embiid Focused on Winning Championships

Harden has been very vocal about wanting to win a championship alongside Embiid in Philadelphia. Heck, the future Hall of Famer took nearly a $15 million paycut to allow the team to tweak the roster. He wants to win badly. According to Perkins, Harden and Embiid are locked in.

“I strongly believe this: James Harden is going to help him [Embiid] get it done,” Perkins said. “I don’t think James Harden is going to come out, and I don’t want people to expect James Harden is going to come out and be that 25- to 30-point scorer … now, does he need to be more efficient? Absolutely. And I believe he will.”

Harden’s presence should make Embiid the front-runner for MVP, too. After finishing as the top runner-up to Nikola Jokic for two years in a row, the MVP award is there for the taking. This is finally the year that Embiid gets his due.

“You know what? He’s already going to walk in as the heavy favorite, okay? That’s my opinion,” Perkins said. “And I think just averaging a cool 26 and 10, or 26 and 11, and having one of the best records in the NBA … he’s going to get it done.”


Doc Rivers’ Twitter Gets Hacked

Sixers head coach Doc Rivers was trending on Twitter late Friday night for all the wrong reasons. Rivers came under fire when it was discovered that eight of his last nine liked tweets were pornographic content. Wait, what?

People were losing their minds about the mishap, prompting the Sixers to take action and curb the “bizarre activity.” Turns out, Rivers’ Twitter account had been hacked. According to John Clark of NBC Sports, everything is “back to full working order.”

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