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Paul Pierce And Kevin Garnett Debate On Whether Joel Embiid And James Harden Are The New Shaquille O'Neal And Kobe Bryant

Paul Pierce And Kevin Garnett Debate On Whether Joel Embiid And James Harden Are The New Shaquille O'Neal And Kobe Bryant

An elite big man and elite guard combo is something that has achieved mixed results throughout the history of the league. while John Stockton and Karl Malone were vastly successful, they never could get over the hump, but inversely, Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant managed to get a three-peat while playing together. 

The latest blockbuster trade in the NBA has seen James Harden get paired up with Joel Embiid and this has instantly drawn comparisons to some of these duos of the past. Considering how adept Harden is at scoring the ball and how dominant Embiid is in the paint, the Shaq and Kobe comparisons are naturally inevitable. Of course, there are a few differences between the two duos and that has sparked quite a bit of debate. 

Former Celtics Big 3 teammates Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce are among those disagreeing on the topic, discussing it during a segment of Garnett's new podcast, KG Certified. Garnett brought it up, suggesting that Embiid and Harden are the new 'Shaq and Kobe', but Pierce gave his reasons for why he doesn't think that's true. 

Kevin Garnett: "What about these trades, dawg? James Harden and Embiid, the new Kobe and Shaq."

Paul Pierce: "I don't know, I don't know about that."

Kevin Garnett: "You don't see it? What you mean you don't know. You need that old James though, right?"

Paul Pierce: "Here's my thing, you know. James been teamed up with who? Dwight Howard already, Westbrook, Kevin Durant, and I mean it's been the same result."

Kevin Garnett: "I know you not thinking that, he's never played with a big like this."

Paul Pierce: "He had Dwight, but Dwight wasn't Dwight. But man, I don't know."

Both Pierce and Garnett faced off against Shaq and Kobe during their careers so they can be considered to be authorities on the subject. While it's hard to see Embiid and Harden getting a three-peat together, Philly will certainly feel like they are primed for at least a championship after pairing two MVP-caliber players together. Time will tell who is right in this argument, and the first glimpse of what they can accomplish together will likely come as soon as this season's playoffs.