If James Harden gets his way, he’s played his final game with the Philadelphia 76ers. What does Joel Embiid, Philadelphia’s star and reigning NBA MVP, think of that?
Embiid recently answered that question. Harden requested a trade from Philadelphia in June.
In an interview with Showtime’s Rachel Nichols, Embiid was asked what he thought about Harden’s trade request. His response was straightforward.
“Disappointed,” Embiid said when asked what his initial reaction to the trade request was. “But then again, I also understand, it’s business. People make decisions and, you know, and I’m more appreciative of the way he’s handled the whole situation. You know? We’re going to be boys forever. I want him to come back, obviously, so we can go out and accomplish what we want. Which is to win a championship. So hopefully his mindset can be changed. But other than that, I’m just so happy to be his friend.”
Spoke to Joel Embiid about James Harden’s trade request – Embiid said he’s hopeful Harden’s “mindset can be changed.” The two were partying with @MichaelRubin last night at the @Fanatics/@TheNBPA Summer League blowout. pic.twitter.com/9sKwp3HGsg
— Rachel Nichols (@Rachel__Nichols) July 10, 2023
Embiid’s response was generally praised.
Embiid with a very diplomatic approach here talking to Rachel.
If you're going to buy into the idea that Harden could return, the relationship between the teammates has to be front and center https://t.co/FNc9Sti73i
— Kyle Neubeck (@KyleNeubeck) July 10, 2023
Well, this confirms the trade request is definitely there… feels like it’s just a matter of time.
But if James Harden still truly wants to compete for a championship, he’ll come run it back with Joel 👀🍿 https://t.co/jUcyuvHM5X
— RB (@RBPhillyTake) July 10, 2023
"I'm more appreciative of the way he's handled the whole situation."
Joel Embiid on James Harden while simultaneously subtweeting Ben Simmons https://t.co/xMclMd7pJI
— Bryan Toporek (@btoporek) July 10, 2023
Not an easy position to answer a question like this but Joel did well approaching it the way he did. https://t.co/aSu0hKQnKF
— Zach Ciavolella (Cha-vo-lel-la) (@CiavoNBA) July 10, 2023
Sixers fans may not like answer but I love how much he has matured and grown up as a person. https://t.co/anEW4cFs7B
— Sean Bell (@seanbelllive) July 10, 2023
Philadelphia has been a contending team for several years now, coming out of the long rebuild that brought several high draft picks — including Embiid — to the 76ers. But while Philadelphia has reached the playoffs in each of the last six seasons, postseason success has been limited.
In five of the last six seasons (including the two with Harden), the 76ers have been sent home in the second round of the playoffs. Philadelphia is still waiting for its first trip to the NBA Finals, or even Eastern Conference Finals, since 2001.