Few teams in the NBA tout the legion of talent that the Philadelphia 76ers enjoy. However, the recently concluded offseason pushed the team beneath its on-paper echelon, as the team’s ongoing shaky position with star guard James Harden has become front and center in what should have been a more productive summer.
Instead, the 76ers have commenced training camp whilst bannering the conflict. With Harden compelled to play due to the unfavorable consequences holding out due to new league rules, the former MVP has no choice but to stick around while both parties navigate through a potential trade.
James Harden wanted to retire with the Philadelphia 76ers before his strife with Daryl Morey
At its very core, the NBA is a business. Harden knows that very well from his early days when he was traded out of Oklahoma City. While the situation in Philadelphia is different this time around, he seemingly finds himself at the shorter end of the stick this time, as his desire to force his way out of the franchise stems from 76ers President Daryl Morey refusing to extend him to a long-term deal during the offseason after taking a pay cut last year.
Following his infamous tirade against Morey, Harden didn’t follow up before breaking his silence on the matter on Friday night.
"For me, it’s just, trusting people you’ve known for over a decade. And when I got traded here, my whole thing was I wanted to retire a Sixer. I wanted to be here and retire a Sixer. The front office didn’t have that in their future plans. It’s literally out of my control. It’s something I didn’t want to happen, to be in this position. But I’ve got to make a decision for my family.Understand, this is a business, it’s just as simple as that. Come in here today, work my butt off, and do the things necessary as a professional as I would do, and that I’ve been doing for 15 years."
Unless you’re the biggest optimist there is, it’s now crystal clear that both sides are invested on cutting off what once seemed like a perfect matrimony. For Harden, it means taking his talents elsewhere to chase a championship. For the Philadelphia 76ers, it means holding down the fort with their still-talented squad before finding a resolution with the disgruntled star.