James Harden sat down with his new team for an introductory press conference on Tuesday. Now that James is officially a member of the Philadelphia 76ers, he is thrilled with his new place. Harden was traded to the 76ers in exchange for Ben Simmons in a blockbuster deal last week.
In the press conference, Harden revealed that Sixers had been his preferred destination ever since his exit from Houston Rockets early in 2020-21 season.
Harden talked about how he never wanted to be in Brooklyn Nets in the first place:
“Originally when I was going through everything I was going through in Houston, Philly was my first choice,”
“It just didn’t happen… I just knew for a very long time, this was a perfect fit. Obviously, you have the best big man in the league in Joel [Embiid], and then obviously the coaching. From top to bottom it made sense. I’m just happy and blessed that I’m here… I’m excited for the opportunity.”
Harden on playing alongside Joel Embiid:
“I think we complement each other,”
“Obviously the whole world knows how great Joel has been playing. Not just scoring the basketball, but rebounding, he had a triple-double last game. His presence alone is unbelievable. “
“I feel like I’m the same way as far as making my teammates better and doing different things to impact the game at the highest level, and then we have a great core of guys that can also help with that.”
James plans to assume a leadership role with Sixers, alongside Embiid:
“My job is to help be the leader,” he said. “Be able to push guys and get that swagger out of guys every single night because ultimately that’s going to help us get to the end goal, and that’s to win a championship.”
However, Harden didn’t want to get much into the “Brooklyn situation,” only giving a vague description that his time with Nets was filled with a lot of “ups and downs,” and a lot stress. James won’t be making his Sixers debut until the All-Star break.
Check out the James Harden clips from the conference below.