“76ers are my first choice,” Harden said

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Los Angeles (AFP) – James Harden, who moved from Brooklyn to Philadelphia last week after more than a year with the Nets, assured Tuesday that the Sixers have been his “first choice” when he wants to leave Houston in 2021.

“In the beginning, Philadelphia was my first choice. It didn’t happen. I knew early on, though, that it was the perfect place. Because it had the best big man in the league, Joel Embiid,” he said at a news conference.

The 2018 MVP will indeed form an astounding duo with the Cameroonian Pivot — an impressive few months and a serious candidate for the Player of the Season title — and hopes to make a difference between them Rapidly perfected automation with confidence, started two months later. play-offs.

“He’s at an incredible level at the moment and I think we complement each other. We have the ability to find solutions together. I feel like I can also make my teammates better and I’m here to bring my contributions to the core of excellence. Players,” explained “Thé Bard” (the man with the beard), who won’t make his debut in his new jersey until after the All-Star break this weekend, and he’s out of the game.

In Philadelphia, Harden found former Rockets general manager Aryle More, who tried to recruit him last year, and who seemed eager to develop under the orders of Sixers head coach Doc Divers.

“A chance in my life”

“I’m going to work with one of the best coaches. Why wouldn’t I want to take his coach? I’ve been playing for a long time, but he’s been on the floor a lot longer and he’s more experienced than me. A player, I still need help, I still need to learn,” he said.

James Harden poses with Philadelphia 76ers head coach Doc Rivers during a press conference at Philadelphia 76ers training camp on February 15, 2022
James Harden poses with Philadelphia 76ers head coach Doc Rivers during a press conference at Philadelphia 76ers training camp on February 15, 2022 Tim Nwachukwu Getty Images North America/AFP

The three-time league top scorer (2018, 2019, 2020), who signed with the Sixers as part of a trade with Australian point guard Ben Simmons, still fails in Brooklyn, where the “Big Three” Kay he assembled. Ving Durant and Kyrie Irving are only working on rare sparks, they both take turns getting injured, and Irving is still banned from playing in New York without the coronavirus intervening for not being vaccinated.

Harden said the latter situation “had little impact” on his decision to leave Brooklyn. “Kyrie and I are great friends, everything he went through was a personal choice, but it definitely had an impact on the team, it’s a shame we only played 16 games together and that’s it…”

James Harden, Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving of the Brooklyn Nets against the Boston Celtics in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Playoffs on May 22, 2021
James Harden, Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving of the Brooklyn Nets against the Boston Celtics in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Playoffs on May 22, 2021 Elsa Getty Images North America/AFP/Archives

“14 months ago, I couldn’t see myself playing for three different teams. There were a lot of ups and downs, there was a lot of pressure. But that’s over anyway. I’m happy, fit and… .. an opportunity in my life,” he concluded.

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