Don’t think for one minute the Sixers are seriously thinking about “re-processing” amid all the James Harden drama. The franchise went into the 2022-23 campaign with a stated goal of winning a championship and it intends to stick to that script — with or without Harden.
Tyrese Maxey made it very clear that there has been no chatter of tanking this season to get a better draft pick or underachieving by feeling sorry for themselves. Joel Embiid is coming back on a mission (look at his latest workout picture alongside Jayson Tatum) to pry the Larry O’Brien Trophy from Nikola Jokic’s cold, lifeless hands. Okay, that’s a bit harsh but you get the point.
“People ask me, like if James doesn’t come back do you see this season as a wash or … I don’t think in the position that the Sixers are in, we can’t never see the season as a wash,” Maxey said. “We have talent. We have the reigning MVP on our team. We have to go out there and expect to win and expect to still complete our goal. It will be even more difficult now that one of our best players, as of now, has decided he doesn’t want to come back and play and that’s how life goes.”
One other interesting tidbit from Maxey’s podcast came when he was elaborating on his deep-rooted relationship with Harden. Those two will forever have each other’s backs no matter what color uniform they are wearing.
Maxey said: “I know if he’s not playing he’s going to be rooting for me to be the best version of myself because that’s just the type of brother that he is. He’s a great person.”