Joel Embiid and James Harden have proven to be every bit as dangerous together as imagined after their first two games as teammates. Since returning from the All-Star Break, the Philadelphia 76ers have beaten the Timberwolves and Knicks by a combined 47 points. In those two games, the Harden-Embiid duo put up 127 points, 34 assists, and 37 rebounds. They have also combined for a truly hilarious total of 59 free throw attempts, giving credence to the question of just how watchable they are, even with their outstanding talent on display.
There is no question that they've been dominant, though. Dominant enough to leave plenty of room for hyperbolic hot takes. Like the one Kendrick Perkins threw out there today, in which he compared Harden and Embiid to Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
The tweet is even a bit misleading because Perkins does not say he thinks the two can become this era's Magic and Kareem. He says they are! Right now!
This is, of course, silly. It is not a huge jump to say the pair's combined talent is in the same category as the Magic-Kareem combo. Harden is a guaranteed Hall of Famer and Embiid is on the trajectory if he can stay healthy. But it's still a jump! Kareem is widely considered to be one of the three or four best centers of all-time and has scored more points than literally anybody else in NBA history. Magic is, at worst, the second-best point guard of all-time. Embiid isn't anywhere near that legacy yet, and frankly neither is Harden considering his counting stats are insane but he has yet to win anything of note.
From a playstyle sense, it's the comparison that makes the most sense. But that is pretty much where it should all end. Magic and Kareem won five titles together. That's all there is to say. Embiid and Harden will never do that together. So they'll never be Magic and Kareem. There will never be another Magic and Kareem.