In a radio interview this morning with Anthony Gargano on 97.5 The Fanatic, ESPN Senior Writer Ramona Shelburne discussed the noise around the Philadelphia 76ers’ offseason, especially pertaining to the twists and turns of James Harden’s trade request. Here was Ramona on the Harden situation:
“This turned even further than I thought it would have turned.” - @ramonashelburne on James Harden— 975TheFanatic (@975TheFanatic) August 16, 2023
Yes, I don’t think anyone had James Harden publicly calling Daryl Morey a liar in the middle of a sponsorship tour in China. As your local Channel 4 news crew might say, that escalated quickly. Still, I’m on the record as saying the resolution around the Harden situation isn’t all that important, aside from what Joel Embiid thinks. Shelburne shares insight on that topic as well:
“He is happy to be a Sixer. I don’t think this is a precursor to something. I think this is Joel Troel.” - @ramonashelburne on Embiid changing his Twitter bio— 975TheFanatic (@975TheFanatic) August 16, 2023
Hey, good news! Ramona is referring to Embiid’s recent social media profile change, where he removed the “Processing” caption and Philadelphia as his location. If Joel was once again just being an internet troll, and we aren’t actually one step closer to a trade request from the star center, the Sixers fan base can breathe a sigh of relief.
Shelburne has a close professional relationship with Joel, so I’m inclined to take her thoughts on the matter as closer to scripture than I might some other talking head reports. The Sixers have enough going on with one high-profile trade request; mounting worries about Embiid’s happiness with the franchise would have been too much of an emotional burden to bear. Let’s put the Joel concerns out of mind, and let any Sixers agita float away in the wind, at least until the next time James Harden speaks out against the franchise while hawking products.