James Harden will have his work cut out for him, coming out of an extremely complicated exercise. According to an orange ball legend, the Sixers star has one particular task to accomplish, on which the future of his franchise could depend.
His arrival caused a stir last February, but the integration of James Harden at the Philadelphia roster only had the effect of a wet firecracker. The guard never gave the performance, which pissed off hometown fans who thought they had gotten Ben Simmons an upgrade. In the end, the result was the same as last year: an end to the conference semi-finals, with The Beard completely out of luck.
Unsurprisingly, all eyes will be on him in 2022-23, his franchise being ready to play a dangerous game with him. For observers, no doubt: the 2018 MVP must question himself, especially in relation to his professional investment, he who is often scolded for his night trips. Guest of Rich Eisen ShowTracy McGrady didn’t go overboard saying that the former Rocket had to completely change his approach:
Tracy McGrady: ‘Harden has to make the basket his priority’
He needs to make basketball his number one priority. Make winning the number one priority. Make the 76ers his number one priority. You play with an MVP caliber player in the person of Joel Embid – which I think has changed his mindset about how he doesn’t approach the game now, how he sees the game – and he wants to win.
I think if James can be that type of solid player who contributes every night for the Sixers, they’ll be in the conversation to be one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference.
If we read between the lines, T-Mac is clearly implying that the Sixers are not among the top of their conference right now. Difficult however to say the opposite, with two consecutive eliminations in the second round of the playoffs.
However, it is a status that should come naturally to them with such a duo to carry them, which is why number 13 is so frustrating in the City of Brotherly Love. If he can come back physically fit and mentally fit, then Philly will be in a much better position. Otherwise, another disappointment awaits them and the leaders may well drop his case for good.
James Harden must finally make basketball his priority again, for his own good but also for that of Philadelphia. Still without a ring as he passed his thirties, The Beard is starting to run out of time, like Russell Westbrook at the Lakers.