NBA fans comparing the Sixers duo of Joel Embiid and James Harden to that of Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant was ridiculous in hindsight.
It was a disappointing night for hoop fans in Philly, with their team getting bounced off in the conference semi-finals for the fourth time in five seasons. Former MVP James Harden has a 9-13 record in elimination games, failing to change the perception of him come playoff time.
The Beard has a $47.4M player option heading into the next season and is eligible for a four-year $223M max contract extension. While the Sixers guard continues to make moolah, his performance on the court hasn’t been the same since his hamstring injury during his stint with the Nets.
Going 3-2 into the series, the Sixers had a chance to equal the series at home but failed to do, courtesy of Jimmy Butler and co put on a clinic on both ends of the floor. It was a perfect opportunity for Harden to silence his critics, who continue to accuse him of choking come playoff time.
NBA Twitter has fans repent who compared the Sixers duo to the iconic pair of Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant. Many blamed Harden for the Game Six loss, considering The Process was playing amid a right orbital fracture, torn ligaments in his right thumb, and a concussion from the previous week.
The comparisons of Embiid-Harden to the iconic duo of Shaq-Kobe are laughable.
The arrival of Harden in Philly had hoop fans beam with excitement, especially with an end to the Ben Simmons saga. Nobody had any doubts about the former Rockets superstar meshing with Embiid. Further on, the Sixers went 5-0 in Harden’s first five games with the franchise.
Getting carried away too soon, fans and analysts believed the guard-center pairing of Harden and Embiid could even win the chip this season. Some even went as far as comparing them to the iconic duo of Shaq-Kobe.
However, fans and the so-called analysts got swayed by the moment as Harden failed to live up to expectations. The ten-time All-Star couldn’t capitalize on the phenomenal season that Embiid was having and seemed to have lost all his scoring powers come crunch time.
The most recent example being a potential elimination game against the Miami Heat, where Harden scored 11-points, attempting only nine shots from the field. The three-time scoring champion was 0-2 in the second half of the game.
NBA Twitter reacts to Harden-Embiid comparisons to Shaq-Kobe post the Sixers elimination from the playoffs.
Y’all were comparing Harden and Embiid to Shaq and Kobe 😭😭😭
— Guru (@DrGuru_) May 13, 2022
More like Shaq and Brandon Knight
— Mcbain$$$ (@Mcbain875917) May 13, 2022
More like Brandon knight and Greg Monroe
— 🧸brandon knight burner🧸 (@sixinbucks) May 13, 2022
Shaq was 100% right pic.twitter.com/nILIiwsJNO
— Austin (@AustinPlanet) May 13, 2022
In the regular season its fair tbh. But HARDEN aint built for the playoffs…
— wooski (@Woohamed) May 13, 2022