There was a time when ESPN’s Bobby Marks wasn’t the biggest fan of the marriage between James Harden and the Philadelphia 76ers.
Call it lingering loyalty to the Brooklyn Nets, or the wise warnings of a man who once incorrectly staked his career on an over-the-hill former All-Star, but Marks would often remark about how Harden wasn’t worth the money and giving him a max contract would have been on par with the worst contracts in NBA history.
So naturally, when Marks got to talking about Harden again on ESPN, this time on NBA Today, fans weren’t exactly expecting a ringing endorsement. He’d likely talk about the cost-benefit analysis, talk about his hamstring, and question whether or not Harden could recapture his former Houston-based glory.
And yet, in one of the least expected face turns in recent sports media memory, a ringing endorsement is exactly what Mark’s delivered.
Surprising? Friend, you don’t know the half of it.
Bobby Marks expects big things from the Philadelphia 76ers’ former MVP.
“We’re going to be talking about James Harden in the Top-3 when we talk about (the) MVP conversation.” These words, spoken by Marks without a semblance of irony, will be forever etched on the minds of Philadelphia 76ers fans as the season inches closer and closer and will inevitably be thrown back in his face if things don’t work out.
But what, you may ask, brought Marks to this conclusion? Well, here’s the thing, it really wasn’t just one thing per se. Marks pointed to the improved roster, improved conditioning, and to Harden’s status as an impending free agent looking to land that one last big long-term contract.
Factor in the presence of Joel Embiid, who should also be in that MVP conversation and will draw the bulk of opposing teams’ attention, and things, at least according to Marks, are shaping up very well for ‘the Beard’ to recapture his MVP form.
What? Still don’t believe me? Watch for yourself below.
Ugh, that is just too good.
Will Bobby Marks’ prediction prove correct? Will Harden recapture his former form and dazzle fans nightly at the Wells Fargo Center? Or has the former Brooklyn Nets exec overcorrected too far and set an unrealistic expectation for the Philadelphia 76ers’ second-best player? I guess we’ll have to wait and see.