James Harden had quite the gift for his teammate, who recently earned a major NBA honor. Sixers big man Joel Embiid was named league MVP this week, and Harden wanted to give his congratulations.
Harden gave Embiid a new Rolex, which has led to a reaction from fans online. Many believe it puts the “bad teammate” narrative to bed.
Embiid had a monster year in Philadelphia, posting 33 points and 10 boards a night to help the 76ers land the No. 3 seed in the Eastern Conference playoff bracket.
That production has continued into the postseason, where he’s averaging 20 points and 11 rebounds per game, though an injury has kept him sidelined for the last few nights.
Embiid’s on-court performance made him a front-runner to deny Nikola Jokic a third consecutive MVP honor. On Tuesday, the mission was accomplished.
your 2022-23 @Kia NBA MVP: @JoelEmbiid 🏆#KiaMVP pic.twitter.com/DNqnd5g9EY
— Philadelphia 76ers (@sixers) May 2, 2023
As a way of congratulating his teammate, James Harden gifted Embiid a Rolex.
That watch had a custom engraving on the back that read, “23 MVP.”
#Sixers PG James Harden presented #MVP Joel Embiid with a Rolex with ‘23 MVP’ engraved on the back. pic.twitter.com/8I8QSfFTKN
— Keith Pompey (@PompeyOnSixers) May 3, 2023
Now, many around the NBA world have been quick to call Harden out as a bad teammate. A number of media and fans have hinted that he wants out of Philadelphia, saying that he’d rather return to Houston.
This latest act seems to contradict that narrative.
“hE Is GoInG bAcK tO hOuStOn”
— Lenny Sutton (@ChinoLTS) May 3, 2023
Stuff like this is why I don’t believe the rumors of him leaving ,he likes it here
— Graham Joseph (@Gram_j00) May 3, 2023
One person wrote, “Tell me again how James Harden is a cancer to his teammates and wants to leave for the Huston Rockets.”
Someone else commented, “James Harden is a tremendous teammate and person!”
Many are saying the Sixers need to go ahead and offer Harden a max contract. It’s worth noting that he took a pay cut last year to help build the roster.
Bring the brinks truck for Harden this offseason. He earned it.
— A.S.M. JAYSKI (JOEL EMBIID IS YOUR KIA MVP!!!) (@ASMJAYSKI) May 3, 2023
Gotta max Harden. To offer him less after he took a discount this year and sacrificed his stats would be a slap in the face. Harden is family now.
— Robin Plunder (@Robinplunder69) May 3, 2023
Philadelphia has some time to think about that next decision. First, they’ll look to land an NBA championship.
The Sixers are currently up 1-0 on the Boston Celtics in the second round of the postseason. Game 2 of the series tips off on Wednesday.