The Philadelphia 76ers finally made their season debut last night on the road against the Milwaukee Bucks. But prior to their thrilling opening affair, the team made a decision that raised a lot of eyebrows among league circles.
James Harden, who was absent from the team for ten days due to undisclosed personal matters, recently rejoined the squad in hopes of playing against the Bucks to begin the campaign. However, wanting to be cautious with his ramp-up, security personnel stopped him from boarding a plane for the two-game road trip as 76ers officials and even head coach Nick Nurse wished for him to stay in the team facility for reconditioning.
Why the decision to leave James Harden in Philly is a terrible look for the 76ers
By all accounts and especially considering how the All-Star has basically become a big distraction for the team with his histrionics, one can perhaps notion that the blame pie cannot be divided equally. The 76ers front office has been his nemesis, and the player didn’t do anything to put themselves at his mercy.
With that being said, Philadelphia has already metamorphosed into some haven of instability in the past few years. Despite the relative success, absolutely no one will mistake the franchise as one with a tranquil, smooth-sailing zeitgeist.
From a PR and perception standpoint, the 76ers are arguably lagging behind most of their contemporaries — a troubling symptom that could affect the team’s ability to lure talent and external help into the city moving forward.
Oh, and by “moving forward”, we meant next year, when Philly will have one of the strongest spending powers in the association.
While the season has only began, the 76ers are clearly in the gutters prepping the framework for a potentially landscape-altering free agency. But who’s to say that Philadelphia remains a top-notch destination with everything that has transpired? Market size and money notwithstanding, stability can break the deadlock — something the franchise wouldn’t be able to put front and center in any pitch realistically speaking.
Circling back to Harden, the jury is already divided between siding with the 76ers for his recurring stunts or with the former MVP for the front office apparently reneging on a promise. Nevertheless, Harden has a ton of clout among his peers, and those awaiting their homes next year will surely be mindful of how the 76ers operate.
Ultimately, solving this ordeal remains a two-way street. But the Philadelphia 76ers are definitely not doing themselves favor in the bigger picture with their latest edict.