Lakers legend Shaquille O’Neal slams comparisons of him and Kobe to the Sixers duo of Joel Embiid and James Harden.
In the age of social media, people do not hesitate to make tall claims, even if it means not sticking to the facts. Comparisons are regular in any sport. While some make for an interesting argument, others are bizarre. Nonetheless, there is a new conversation in town, comparing great duos in the NBA.
The recent trade deadline had a blockbuster deal go down between the Sixers-Nets. Former MVP James Harden aligned forces with the seven-foot Joel Embiid, while Ben Simmons joined Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving on the Nets. Reportedly, both the All-Star guards wanted out.
With Harden and Embiid being teammates, the Sixers look like a force to reckon with as both these superstars fit perfectly together. They are the ideal pick and roll partners, with The Beard taking off a whole lot of load from Embiid’s shoulders.
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The duo is 5-0 since the arrival of Harden in Philadelphia, playing flawless basketball. And people were quick to jump the gun, comparing them to the legendary duo of Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant.
Shaquille O’Neal is in no mood to hear his and Kobe’s comparisons to Embiid-Harden.
Shaq and Kobe formed one of the most dynamic duos in NBA history, having a journey of ups and downs. The duo did complete justice while donning the purple and gold. The Big Diesel and the Black Mamba remain part of the last team to 3-peat in the league.
Playing under one of the greatest coaches in Phil Jackson, Shaq and Kobe went to four finals, winning three of them. Both the superstars knew where to find each other on the court, with Kobe throwing Shaq sensational lobs.
It has been ages since we witnessed such a pairing of center and guard. However, the recent entry of Harden in Philadelphia had him align with this season’s MVP front runner Embiid. In their very first game, the duo looked in complete sync.
Thus it was only a matter of time before their comparisons to Shaq and Kobe began, with Embiid playing the center position and Harden the guard. During a recent segment of his podcast, Shaq seemed livid with these comparisons, saying the following.
“No. Hell no. Not after one year. Me and Kobe had eight years of damage together. No, not even close. Stop it. Listen, no, hell no and f*** no.”
The Diesel’s anger is completely justified, considering Embiid and Harden haven’t even played 10-games together so far. Though they are top contenders in the east, it’s a long road ahead.
It will be interesting to see how far do the Sixers go once the playoffs begin.