Sixers’ James Harden doesn’t think he’s getting enough credit for taking pay cut and eyes NBA title


James Harden has many individual accomplishments to his credit in his 13 year NBA careerincluding an MVP and 10 All-Star Game selections.

He is considered one of the best scorers the game has ever seen and was named to the NBA’s 75th Anniversary Team.

James Harden of the Philadelphia 76ers dribbles the ball against the Miami Heat in Game 4 of the 2022 NBA Eastern Conference Semifinals at Wells Fargo Center on May 8, 2022 in Philadelphia.
(Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

Even with all the accolades, Harden has never won an NBA championship.

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That is why Harden took a pay cut in the offseason to stay in Philadelphia, hoping the Sixers would be able to add some play around him and star center Joel Embiid.

“Me averaging 20 points, averaging damn close to a triple-double, winning us at a high rate, one or two seeds, giving us a really good chance where we’re all playing really good basketball, or average 28 in the same kind of thing – it’s the same,” Harden told The Athletic in a recent interview.

“At the end of the day, it’s winning a championship. Numbers really don’t mean anything, individually.”

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Harden opted out of his $47.4 million player option, instead signing a two-year contract that will net him $33 million during the 2022-23 NBA season.

James Harden of the Philadelphia 76ers dribbles during the first quarter against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Wells Fargo Center on October 5, 2022 in Philadelphia.

James Harden of the Philadelphia 76ers dribbles during the first quarter against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Wells Fargo Center on October 5, 2022 in Philadelphia.
(Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)

“No, but guess what? I don’t care,” Harden said when asked if he received enough credit for his contract decision. “There’s like a stereotype (of Harden) where people always want to talk. People don’t really know me, so they feel like they can say anything. One thing I won’t do, it’s giving them attention. I don’t say anything, in the media, publicly. I don’t care, because I’m comfortable and confident in what I’m doing on and off the pitch.

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Harden’s contract has a player option for the 2023-24 season that will see him potentially land a more lucrative contract with Philadelphia or elsewhere.

“You do things, run businesses on and off the field, and the money will always come back,” Harden said. “So I’m lucky and blessed to be in the position I’m in, and I’ll continue to be me.”

Joel Embiid (21), Tobias Harris (12), Tyrese Maxey (0), James Harden (1) and PJ Tucker (17) of the Philadelphia 76ers pose for a portrait during NBA Media Day on Sept. 26, 2022, at Wells Fargo Center of Philadelphia.

Joel Embiid (21), Tobias Harris (12), Tyrese Maxey (0), James Harden (1) and PJ Tucker (17) of the Philadelphia 76ers pose for a portrait during NBA Media Day on Sept. 26, 2022, at Wells Fargo Center of Philadelphia.
(Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)

The Sixers added veteran forward PJ Tucker in June, signing the defensive stopper to a three-year contract.

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“This team is good enough to take on anyone in the league, and I’m going to come here and do everything I can to help us get to the next level,” Tucker said in a 76ers press release. . “Philadelphia fans demand greatness, and it will be up to us to get where we need to be to achieve our goals. I’m excited to get to work.”

The 76ers will open the season Thursday, October 18 against the Boston Celtics.


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