(CNN)Philadelphia 76ers superstar Joel Embiid squeezes a plastic water bottle into his mouth, looks over to the player he’s sharing the press conference table with and says: “That’s good.”
They both break into laughs and smile as they bask in the post-victory feeling.
Embiid’s new 76ers teammate, James Harden, has settled into life in Philadelphia very quickly after being traded from the Brooklyn Nets, quickly striking up a friendship with Embiid.
And after a hamstring injury and the NBA All-Star break, Harden finally was able to make his debut for his new team, excelling in the 76ers’ blowout 133-102 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday night.
The 32-year-old finished with 27 points, 12 assists and eight rebounds, while Embiid continued his MVP pace, contributing 34 points and 10 rebounds.
And in that post-game press conference, the Cameroonian center was full of praise for his new teammate and in particular, his passing ability.
”I’ve never been wide open like this in my life,” the 27-year-old said. “Seriously, the passing, like I wasn’t even expecting it and it was just coming.”
Harden was paired with Embiid after being traded from the Nets earlier in February.
While the 10-time All-Star and 2018 MVP headed to Philadelphia, Ben Simmons went the other way to Brooklyn.
Although Simmons has yet to make his Nets debut, Harden’s couldn’t have gone much better.
He was passing and shooting like he can do so effectively, including some of his trademark step-back three pointers.
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And he was all smiles on the court during his first appearance in a 76ers jersey, as well as being on the receiving end of a big Embiid hug after connecting with a three-pointer while being fouled.
Afterwards, when asked if he has a point to prove in Philadelphia, Harden said: “For sure.
“We all do. Tonight was a great start. But we’ve got a long way to go, and we’ll do whatever it takes every single day to build great habits so we are prepared when the time is right.”