James Harden has come under quite a bit of criticism over the past season, and rightly so. But when he does something good, it’s rarely mentioned and that’s what the 2018 MVP doesn’t like at all. So he decided to make things clear recently.
Casually, the Sixers managed to make some nice acquisitions on the market this summer, when their finances were particularly tight. One thinks in particular of the arrival of PJ Tucker, considered one of the most respected soldiers in the league and who signed for 33 million dollars over three years in Pennsylvania. A move that was made possible by James Harden, who accepted a big discount during the summer so that leaders have more flexibility.
By extending on the spot, the superstar has thus lowered his salary by 15 million dollars, a hell of a drop in income although he is not to be pitied. However, not much is necessarily said about this generosity of The Beard, as the latter has tasted in 2021-22 after each disappointing outing. Suffice to say that it is not really to the taste of the person concerned, who split a rather exasperated tirade with The Athletic:
Harden’s financial sacrifice not praised enough?
There’s a kind of stereotype around me, people always want to talk. They don’t really know me, so they think they can say anything. If there’s one thing I won’t do, it’s give them attention. I will not say anything, mediatically speaking, publicly. I don’t care, because I’m confident and comfortable in the things I do on and off the pitch.
Clearly, the 2018 MVP has a lot on the potato regarding this subject, he who was eagerly awaited on the Philadelphia side after his arrival at the trade deadline in exchange for Ben Simmons. The connection with Joel Embiid was quickly established, but the franchise stopped in the second round of the playoffs. Unthinkable for El Chapo that this happens again, and he has therefore made sacrifices so that his team can strengthen as it should:
It was the best decision not only for me, but for the organization, it gives us a real chance to put the right pieces of the puzzle together. You do your thing, you do your job on and off the court, and the money will always come back. I’m lucky to be in the situation I’m in, and I’m just going to continue to be myself.
That is said, now remains to be proven in 2022-23. Because if the Harden-Embiid duo did well in the regular season, the No. 13 once again lost its luster during the playoffs, disappearing completely during the lost series against the Heat. To put it simply, the former Rockets player has no room for error, he who is still chasing after his first ring. If he does, then his good deeds will be a bit of a talking point.
James Harden makes it clear he feels his big financial sacrifice over the summer isn’t getting enough exposure, either by the media or the fans. A priori, it will be another story in a few months if the Sixers manage to win the title.