Tobias Harris unfazed by James Harden

Tobias Harris unfazed by James Harden

The Philadelphia 76ers finally ended the drama surrounding Ben Simmons when they traded him to the Brooklyn Nets in exchange for James Harden and Paul Millsap. The 76ers also gave up Andre Drummond, Seth Curry and two-first round picks as part of the deal. While Harden had only been in Brooklyn for a little over a year, things were clearly not working and he wanted out.

The 32-year-old’s arrival in Philadelphia was welcomed by fans and players alike, who believe the 10x NBA All-Star brings them one step closer to an NBA Championship that they are so desperate to win. Even if it means certain players may have to take a step back to make room for Harden.

During Harden’s first two games with the 76ers, Tobias Harris has had a decreased role within the squad. He has also shot just 5-for-18 during that span and seen his average go from 18.7 points per game to just nine. However, he reassured members of the media that he isn’t concerned about the situation.

“We have an opportunity to fight for a championship and do what we can to win basketball games,” Harris said, via the Philadelphia Inquirer. “So your players, including myself, [doing] different things are going to [contribute] to winning basketball. It could be just being a leader in chemistry all the way down the line. That’s what winning basketball is all about.”

Harris was acquired by the 76ers in February 2019 and has been a crucial component of Philadelphia’s squad ever since. He had grown accustomed to being the second option after Joel Embiid, but that won’t be the case anymore with Harden’s arrival.

Harris doesn’t seem bothered by the passes he’s been getting or having to adjust his offensive role though.

“I think my looks have been good,” he commented. “Obviously, you know, I would love to make every single shot. But with time, I’ll begin to see where these looks come from during the course of the game and see where I can impose my will at times as well. But the ball is going to flow how it flows. And I got to just be ready for whenever the opportunity comes my way and be OK with that. And I am.”

The 76ers find themselves in a fight for top spot in the Eastern Conference with the likes of the Miami Heat and Chicago Bulls. Philadelphia finished atop the conference last year, only to be eliminated in the second round of the playoffs by the Atlanta Hawks. They are hoping that Harden will give them a better opportunity of winning during the postseason, which is all that really matters to Harris.

“Everyone has this notion of you got to score this many points or that,” Harris said. “I get it, but at the end of the day like I said, I’m a winner and I [contribute] to winning basketball. If that is me taking 15 shots, if that’s me taking eight shots, it is what it is.”