Philadelphia 76ers guard James Harden was absent from the 76ers. Due to personal matters, he was far away from the 76ers and since his absence, his fans are eagerly waiting for his return.
James Harden’s latest updates have been sought out by fans and raised questions. Let’s get into the article to find out what happened to James Harden.
Harden’s Stellar Career
James Harden, one of the NBA’s premier players over the past decade, boasts an impressive resume. He has won three scoring titles and was named the league MVP in 2018.
Harden also led the league in assists last season, forming a dynamic partnership with league MVP Joel Embiid.
Together, they achieved the rare feat of becoming the first teammates in 40 years to lead the league in both scoring and assists.
Extended Absence and Practice Resumption
James Harden had been away from the 76ers for 10 days before his return to practice, missing the previous week along with practice sessions on Monday and Tuesday. The team cited a “personal situation” as the reason for his absence.
What happened to James Harden?
James Harden reappeared at practice with his team on Wednesday, but he will not accompany the 76ers for their season opener against the Milwaukee Bucks on Thursday or their subsequent game against the Toronto Raptors on Saturday.
Instead, the earliest opportunity for Harden to potentially play this season will be the 76ers’ home opener against the Portland Trail Blazers on Sunday.
Upon his return, Harden participated in portions of Wednesday’s practice. However, the team’s focus was also on preparing for their matchup against Giannis Antetokounmpo, Damian Lillard, and the Milwaukee Bucks on Thursday, a game in which Harden will not be participating.
Balancing Harden’s Reintegration
76ers coach Nick Nurse explained the challenge of balancing James Harden’s need to get back on the court with the team’s preparation for their upcoming game.
Given the importance of the game against the Bucks, the practice involved a significant amount of game preparation that Harden didn’t partake in.
The nurse expressed, “Indeed, he was here; he was in some of the stuff early; clearly, we’re doing a ton of game prep stuff so he didn’t partake in that. It was short practice at that.
He was practically speaking toward the beginning and he was there toward the end, yet we must prepare for a game tomorrow with the guys that will be playing.”
An Unusual Situation
The situation surrounding James Harden’s absence and return is far from ordinary. It stems from his desire to be traded away from the Philadelphia 76ers, a sentiment that has persisted since he exercised his $35.6 million player option for the 2023-24 season back in June.
His frustration with the organization intensified when his request to be traded to the LA Clippers went unfulfilled.
Fractured Relationship with the 76ers
Harden’s once-close relationship with 76ers president of basketball operations, Daryl Morey, who had brought him to the Houston Rockets in a trade with the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2012, has significantly deteriorated.
In August, during a shoe event in China, Harden publicly labeled Morey a “liar.” Harden has expressed skepticism about the possibility of repairing their relationship, choosing to refer to Morey as “the front office” without referencing his name.
In response to whether their relationship could be restored, Harden firmly stated, “No.” He elaborated on the notion of trust, explaining that when it is broken, it is akin to a failed marriage, making it evident that the breakdown in their relationship was irreparable.
Harden’s Uncertain Future
As James Harden resumes workouts over the next couple of days, the possibility of his season debut on Sunday will depend on his readiness.
However, the situation surrounding Harden’s future with the 76ers remains clouded in uncertainty. Coach Nurse emphasized the unpredictability of the situation, urging caution against making definitive statements about its outcome.
James Harden’s return to the Philadelphia 76ers is marred by an ongoing standoff and his desire to be traded elsewhere.
The uncertain nature of his future with the team adds an air of unpredictability to the 76ers’ season as they navigate a challenging situation.