“It’s James Harden. One of the best players in the league. MVP,” Embiid said Friday night. “We didn’t get it done as far as winning in the playoffs. But look at the history of being on the court, what we did in the regular season, we were dominant.”
Sixers coach Doc Rivers was once recruited by Harden to coach the three-time scoring champion when he played for the Houston Rockets. Simmons demanded an offseason trade as the pressure of playing in Philly got to him, and Harden has now forced his way onto a new team for the second straight year. Philadelphia’s local ABC affiliate opened Thursday night’s broadcast with the top story, “The man who refused to make a layup, and then refused to play a season, is now a Brooklyn Net.”
The Simmons saga is over for the Sixers, and Rivers said: “I’m glad it’s behind us.”
Maxey, the second-year player who took over for Simmons at point guard, was close with Simmons but had yet to speak to his former teammate.