- Many around the NBA are beginning to compare Philadelphia’s Joel Embiid and James Harden to historic Lakers duo Shaq and Kobe
- Shaquille O’Neal is having none of it, setting the record straight on his podcast this week
- Read more NBA news here
The Philadelphia 76ers boast one of the most potent scoring duos in the NBA today.
James Harden came over from the Brooklyn Nets last month to team up with big man Joel Embiid. Embiid was already a frontrunner for the league’s MVP honor this season, and with Harden now in the fold, he’s only gotten better.
Look no further than the last game.
In a 15-point win over the Bulls, the sixth-year center notched a whopping 43 points and 14 boards, tying his second highest scoring output of the season.
His partner in crime, Harden, scored 16 while dishing out 14 dimes.
Since Harden’s arrival to the court, the Sixers are a perfect 5-0 with the team eclipsing 120 points in each matchup.
Embiid is averaging over 32 points a night while Harden sits at 24.6 points per game since Harden’s joining the Philly starting lineup.
It’s easy to see why fans and media are tabbing them as the second coming of the historic duo Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant.
this ESPN open comparing Harden and Embiid to:
Shaq & Kobe
Magic & Kareem
Jordan & Pipen
Would like to thank whichever Philly-native producer came up with that
— Jawn Gonzalez (@JohnGonzalez) March 3, 2022
While the two have gotten off to a hot start in their brief partnership, the Shaq-Kobe reference has officially been shut down. And it’s coming right from the horse’s mouth.
Shaq Shuts Down Harden, Embiid Comparisons
On his most recent episode of the Big Podcast With Shaq, the Hall of Famer was quick to refrain from crowing Joel Embiid and James Harden as the next edition of him and Kobe Bryant.
When asked by co-host Anthony Adams about the topic, Shaq’s response was an emphatic, “No.”
Adams would go on to inquire about the possibility of the Philadelphia duo eventually reaching that level. O’Neal shut that notion down rather quickly, too.
— Complex Sports (@ComplexSports) March 9, 2022
“Not at all. We won three out of four.
No. No. Hell, no. Not after one year. Me and Kobe had eight years of damage together. No, not even close. Stop it. Listen, NO, Hell NO, and F*ck NO.”
Shaq is referring to the three straight titles that he and Kobe won between 2000 and 2002. They formed the most potent 1-2 punch in the league, on the most dominant team of its era.
Embiid and Harden, meanwhile, have played just five games together.
It’s not his fault that the media is making these comparisons, but Embiid has been quick to shoot the narrative down, too.
— Philadelphia 76ers (@sixers) March 3, 2022
People are just always looking for the next big thing.
While Embiid and Harden might not reach the level of Shaq and Kobe, they have proven to be a formidable tag team, themselves, albeit in a very small sample size.