ESPN's Wilbon makes egregious claim about Rockets franchise

Golden State Warriors v Philadelphia 76ers
Golden State Warriors v Philadelphia 76ers / Tim Nwachukwu/GettyImages

As James Harden requested the Brooklyn Nets to send him off to the Philadelphia 76ers, it was clear that Harden was seeking one thing: a championship. Harden had already won scoring titles and an MVP during his days with the Houston Rockets but wasn't able to secure the elusive championship ring.

This made Harden and the Philadelphia 76ers a perfect match, as both expected nothing less than a championship banner, which neither had nabbed in recent years. The Sixers last won a title in 1983 and Harden hadn't even reached the NBA Finals since 2012.

But Philadelphia fans don't just want their favorite teams to win championships. They expect it to happen. 

And especially with the Philadelphia Eagles having recently won a championship and nearly pulling off the feat again in 2023. The pressure of winning in a sports town and large media market is always astronomical.

ESPN's Wilbon makes egregious claim about Rockets franchise

And according to ESPN's Michael Wilbon, Harden hasn't quite experienced anything like Philly's pressure to win, which Wilbon ignorantly stated on ESPN's NBA Countdown.

"It's harder to do this in Philly than it is to do in other markets. The pressure on you to simply live and perform there.

Joel Embiid's gotta carry this around day after day, year after year. James Harden hadn't had that.

The pressure to win in Houston ain't what it is in Philly."

Wilbon didn't stop there, as he continued to spew nonsense in front of a national audience, suggesting that Harden's potential reunion with the Rockets is proof that Harden never faced mounting pressure in Houston.

"James Harden may go to Houston, that tells you the pressure's not [there]."

First off, let's acknowledge that it's possible to give Philadelphia their flowers without dropping salt on the city of Houston.

Let's also acknowledge that it's impossible for a team with the best record in the NBA (like Harden's 2017-18 Rockets team) to not face "pressure to win." Lastly, let's acknowledge the foolishness of believing that an MVP doesn't have astronomical pressure to deliver.

And especially in a city that has seen their baseball team win two championships since 2017 and appear in two additional ones. But we don't even have to shift past the Rockets, as they have two championships under their belt, just like the Sixers.

I could go on but you get the point. Perhaps Wilbon thought it was still April Fool's Day.

Or maybe he felt compelled to speak ignorance because he was in front of Stephen A. Smith, who covered the Philadelphia sports market for over a decade. 

Whatever the case, Wilbon was vehemently wrong.