They swiped right! Some say that the new relationship between James Harden and the Philadelphia 76ers is a perfect match. The team has won all but one game in which he has played. Harden averages 22.3 points, 7.3 rebounds, and 11.2 assists (42.9% from three-point land) since they have linked up. Combined with the MVP campaign by All-Star center Joel Embiid, the relationship has started strong. Score one for dating in 2022!

On Thursday, the 76ers ran into James Harden’s ex in the Brooklyn Nets. They were a very vengeful ex as the Nets obliterated the 76ers 129-100. More on that later.

I’m here to discuss whether James Harden and the Philadelphia 76ers are in a meaningful long-term relationship or a short-term booty call.

James Harden Booty Calls

Let’s face it. We have seen who James Harden really is when it comes to relationships. His high school sweetheart, the Oklahoma City Thunder, dumped him while he went searching for more money and thrills. And he found it in the Houston Rockets, a team that ignited his career and stuck by his side as he gained notoriety among his peers. He quickly married the Rockets in 2012 and they renewed their vows in 2017. But Harden’s wayward eye sought more in the relationship than the Rockets could provide and he filed for divorce.

It seemed like he was seeking a little of that something that his Thunder sweetheart provided and he found that in his old buddy Kevin Durant and the Brooklyn Nets. The Nets were heavy favorites to come out of the Eastern Conference, but injuries to Kyrie Irving and Harden at playoff time led to a game 7 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks.

This rebound relationship wasn’t going the way he planned with Durant’s injuries and Irving missing home games for not taking the COVID vaccine. Harden was out of shape to start this season. Some consider falling out of shape as a red flag in a relationship. He became unhappy less than a year after the trade.

Rumors swirled that he was interested in Philadelphia and the 76ers pulled no punches. They gave up a ton of assets for Harden at the trade deadline with no assurances that he will be on the team as soon as this June. Harden can opt out of his contract and become a free agent allowing him to play the field once more in search of a new partner.

The 76ers gambled nearly everything on a Harden relationship so a short-term booty call would be devastating for the franchise. I’m not convinced that he stays. A player like him? Philadelphia can only hope. The championship window for the 76ers is now or never.

James Harden-Philadelphia 76er Relationship

James Harden has been working hard on this new relationship. He quickly formed a bond with his new teammates. His relationship with former Rockets executive and current 76ers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey is well documented. They are forever linked through all of Harden’s career successes and failures. A rumor circulating from former number one overall pick, the retired center Andrew Bogut, is that James Harden will opt out of his contract so the 76ers can fit All-Star Bradley Beal into the fold and form a new super team. After Morey does his magic, Harden will sign a new deal.

With a long-term deal, expect James Harden to achieve milestones in the twilight of his career in a Philly uniform. Together they are creating memories that will last a lifetime. In the Nets game, for instance, James Harden passed Reggie Miller for 3rd all-time in 3-pointers made. He only trails Ray Allen and Stephen Curry in NBA history.

All it takes is a little chemistry to develop and this relationship can take off like a rocket.

A Few Notes

Kyrie Irving, James Harden, and Kevin Durant

A few quick observations from the sell-out game between the Nets and 76ers on Thursday:

  • Harden had 11 points on 3-17 shooting. It was abysmal. The 76ers should be worried that James Harden reverts to hunting for regular season foul calls in games with playoff intensity. Referees historically let teams play which makes it harder to get to the free-throw line.
  • I am certain that Harden took the loss hard. In the below video, you can see how he is coping.
  • The 76ers traded really good role players to get Harden. Seth Curry had a great game with 24 points. Andre Drummond played tenacious defense on Embiid.
  • Kevin Durant is pretty amazing at basketball.

Verdict

So will this relationship between James Harden and the Philadelphia 76ers last or is this just a booty call? It is hard to tell. We all know that the dating pool these days has pee in it. I could only hope that James Harden has finally found the love he had for Houston in Philadelphia. But you still have Houston’s number, James. You know. Just in case this new filly isn’t working out for you.

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Hidro Joseph

1 Comment

    Harden has never had a top center like Embid throughout his career and has flirted many times getting back to the championship outside of OKC. If 76ers have a reliable 3rd option along with Harden and Embid that will be a deadly combination. Just look at the teams that are in contention in the East, Bucks with Giannis/Middleton/Jrue, Heat with Butler/Adebayo/Herro, Bulls with DeRozan/Lavine/Vucevic and a shot from the Nets with Durant/Irving?/Seth Curry

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