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Philadelphia 76ers Joel Embiid won his first NBA MVP this week. There were tears, bear hugs from teammates, and all-time classic Rolex watches. We have Embiid’s teammate James Harden to thank for that last part. The morning after the MVP award was announced, Harden showed up to the arena with a special watch for his newly anointed teammate: a rose-gold Rolex Day-Date.
The contents of the box, in Rolex’s signature green, would have been obvious to any watch enthusiast from the jump, and Embiid pops it open with genuine glee: “Oooooooh, my first Rolex,” he said. He later told ESPN’s Malika Andrews it was his first watch, period.
The watch, listed for $41,500 on Rolex’s site, is the perfect piece to start a collection off with. The Day-Date was the first watch to write out the days of the week and is known for its association with prominent and powerful figures. The watch’s bracelet is now referred to as the President because it was the piece Lyndon B. Johnson preferred.
To add to the gift, Harden also got it engraved with “23 MVP” on the caseback. It’s miraculous that Harden was able to not just source a difficult-to-find Rolex but also get it engraved in the course of a single night. Either Harden has a great hookup (not unlikely) or he prepared for Embiid’s likely win. But I like to imagine a third possibility: Harden, who apparently has more in common with Santa Claus than the beard, has a drawer full of