How The Harden Saga Ends
The Opening Tip
Hello & Happy Almost Weekend - It's the Corner Three!
Oh Yeah, The Sixers
1. Who shoulders/should shoulder the bulk of the blame in this thing?
I honestly don't think anyone's hands are clean in the Morey/Harden house so I'd say 50/50. Harden for doing what he always does, endure a playoff flameout then get really annoying and ignorant toward his current situation then ask for a perceived better one. Morey for being the ultimate enabler as well as thinking that Harden wouldn't do what he always does.
2. There's a report that Joel Embiid tried many times this summer to personally change Harden's mind but to no avail. Thoughts?
He tried to do the same thing with Ben Simmons so I do believe went down and I'm sure or I atleast hope Harden made it known what his actual beef was. Listen Jo is no angel in this shit storm either and I'm still mad about game 7 but in no way do I blame the guy for trying to keep the peace and not wanting to go through his 5th roster churn in as many years.
3. How likely to happen is the Embiid request?
I'd put it at 15%. I believe him when he says he wants to win it all here and is willing to work toward it. Not for nothing, if it does happen, teams without two really really good young guys or 2 superstars need not apply because Daryl Morey's ask will be out of this world.
4. How do you think the rest of this plays out?
I do think it gets a bit uglier, from both sides, but I don't expect to ever see Harden as a Sixer again. I think this drags for a few more weeks before the Clippers or another team (Heat, Bulls) get serious and Morey finally feels properly compensated.
5. Can this be traced back to a Colangelo?
Yes of course
Spike's Corner... Let Him Rot
Every week Spike or Mike will give you something that's on their mind. It's Spike's week, and he's primed for (non-violent) violence.
I am born of spite. I know Philadelphia fans have this new reputation of being nice and kind and whatever but I know you are also born of spite. You’re wearing the dead skin mask of a nice person and underneath is the fire of a billion suns.
It is this spite that has brought me to a place where I do not want Daryl Morey and the Sixers to trade James Harden, simply because it will make him unhappy to make him stay. Keep him here. Let him wear his fat suit and go on TikTok videos in China calling us all pieces of shit. Let him sell his shitty wine to Sixers fans who think it’s hilarious as a novelty. Let him make pretend he’s injured, let him leak stories to Sam Amick about how much bigger of a dick he can be. Let him do these things for an entire season, in Philadelphia, just so we can enjoy it. We've done everything else (except get past the second round), so let's do this.
It takes a few steps to get to this place. You need to make some mental concessions. You have to truly understand that the Sixers are not going to win a title this year, probably any year. You have to really get to the place where you know that the team is not going to get a star player or the assets to get a star player in exchange for this mopey loser. You have to really be at peace with Maxey scoring 24.6 points per game and Embiid getting to 34.2 points on the worst efficiency of his career, as the Sixers win 46 games and maybe even lose in the first round. I’m good with all of it, Harden can go fuck himself.
This isn’t an anti-player stance, it’s not a pro-management stance. It’s an anti-James Harden stance. This fucking guy has the nerve to quite literally quit in an elimination game in 2022, and then literally quit in two of the worst performances I’ve ever seen in my life in Game 6 and Game 7 against Boston in 2023, and somehow act like he’s the one who gets to leave. You don’t get to leave motherfucker. Not on these terms. You had a chance to walk away, and you chose to opt in. When you do this to the third consecutive team, the problem might be you.
James Harden was in a horror movie, and he was running from the monster. The door was wide open. He ran out and was on the front yard, home free. He decided to go back into make sure the monster was dead, and we all know how that ends. Now you never get to leave.
I know people are twisting themselves in knots to figure out a way how Harden isn’t actually the bad guy in this situation, but let me assure you, he’s the bad guy. He might not be a bad guy but he is the bad guy in this particular discussion. Daryl Morey did not promise him a max contract. If Daryl Morey did promise Harden a max contract, and then Harden spent a year leaking stories about going to the Rockets, well that doesn’t make much sense. Daryl Morey certainly didn’t promise James Harden a trade to one specific team, after Harden announces he will only go to one team, for whatever that one team decides to pay. It’s just not what happened. Siding with Harden here doesn’t make you pro-player or pro-labor, it makes you a thirsty idiot. (I will make an exception for PJ Tucker. The only reason Tucker has this giant contract is that Harden got him the contract. If James Harden’s friends want to support him that’s fine with me.)
Think of the pod content when the 3-3 Sixers have Harden playing like Tony from Blue Chips, throwing balls into the stands ‘by accident.’ He’ll go on a Chinese TV station afterward to trash the team and we’ll live stream id during the pod. It’ll be great. Much better than deluding ourselves for the sixth consecutive season that this is the year. I don’t care anymore man, I just want to win this one against him, and the best way to win it is to make him play here (or trade him to Utah). We can even give him a standing ovation, but a super sarcastic one. Really just leaning into it.
Loser mentality? Maybe! I've been called worse. But sometimes doing the right thing is more important than personal pride. I will wear the badge of loser, if Harden has to wear the badge of Sixer.
PS: please go here and vote for Rebel in this calendar contest. Are votes $1? Yes. But it all goes to St Hubert's Animal Welfare Center. He has to be at least 13th place to get in the calendar and he's in 14th place. I can't fail him in this contest he isn't even aware of. He's my boy. We have one more day.
Connor Barwin's Make The World Better Foundation's annual concert is August 26th at The Dell. As always, there is a VIP Pre-Show Tailgate. A ticket gets you food, booze, and a live Carl Landry Record Club. The event is across from the Dell from 4:30 till 6:30. Get tickets here!
Peace, Love and Process Call your parents - Keep counting down to college football