NBA

Harden reportedly won’t play during 76ers’ season-opening two-game road trip

By Sports Desk October 25, 2023

The Philadelphia 76ers won’t have James Harden on the court during their season-opening two-game road trip as the 10-time All-Star will remain at the team’s practice facility and attempt to get into game shape, according to multiple reports.

It’s just another chapter in the saga of Harden, who in August blasted team president Darly Morey at a promotional event in China.

"Daryl Morey is a liar and I will never be a part of an organization that he’s a part of," Harden said. "Let me say that again: Daryl Morey is a liar, and I will never be a part of an organization that he’s a part of."

Harden's comments were a response to the 76ers telling Harden's agent that Morey was unable to find a trade for the 2017-18 NBA MVP, and the franchise wouldn't deal him unless it could find a trade that would help Philadelphia contend for a championship.

Harden picked up his $35.6million player option for the 2023-24 season in late June, and then immediately requested a trade.

He could have declined the option and become a free agent but was hoping by exercising his option it would facilitate a trade.

Harden reiterated his stance earlier this month, saying his relationship with Morey is beyond repair and he still wants to be traded.

Harden returned to the team Wednesday after being away for a “personal matter” and not practicing since October 15. He will not play in Thursday’s season opener at the Milwaukee Bucks and Saturday in Toronto against the Raptors.

It remains to be seen if Harden will take the court for Philadelphia’s home opener against the Portland Trail Blazers on Sunday.

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