James Harden doesn’t plan on being on the court when the Philadelphia 76ers open the 2023-24 season. The entire 82-game slate was released the other day, showing the season opener scheduled for October 26 at the Milwaukee Bucks and the home opener slotted for October 29 versus the Portland Trail Blazers. Tickets are available now.
The question of whether Harden will be with the team doesn’t seem to be much of a question anymore. The future Hall of Famer told KHOU 11 reporter Jason Bristol that the relationship between him and the Sixers’ front office is fractured too deep. It can’t be fixed.
When asked specifically if it was beyond repair, Harden said: “I think so.”
There isn’t much more to say about the Harden situation. He doesn’t plan to wear a Sixers’ uniform this season amid reports of Daryl Morey shutting down trade talks. “I’ve been patient all summer,” Harden told Bristol. “For me, it’s just focusing on what I can control and getting ready for this season.”
Throw in Joel Embiid’s cryptic social media posts, combined with continued trade rumors around Tobias Harris, along with reports of the team waiting on a contract extension for Tyrese Maxey, and there’s enough drama to sink the Titanic. Buckle up for what should be a wild few weeks leading up to the start of training camp on October 3. The first preseason game is slated for October 8 against Boston.
Yet the schedule is out and it must be analyzed in depth. Let’s dive into the five most interesting storylines and matchups heading into the regular season. The Sixers have 29 nationally-televised games, plus a marquee matchup on Christmas Day against Miami. The team also has 14 sets of back-to-back games, four of which will come in January. It will be a grind — with or without Harden — and the journey begins in roughly two months.