James Harden has hit back at media reports highlighting his "disruptive" behavior in recent seasons. "Y'all gotta chill wit these reports," Harden wrote on Instagram, adding a string of crying-laughing emojis. "Imma start reporting shit," he added with an eyes emoji. The reports in question appear to be a string of articles from the likes of ESPN, which we reshared by the likes of NBA Central. In particular, ESPN's Ramona Shelburne dropped a story on September 6 highlighting the feud between Harden and the Sixers.
In one anecdote, Shelburne reports on Harden's behavior when snubbed for the All-Star Game but asked by Adam Silver to provide a replacement suggestion for the injured Kevin Durant. "“Days went by without Harden's answer. He was pouting. By the time Harden sent word that he would accept the invitation, Silver had moved on, naming Toronto Raptors forward Pascal Siakam as the replacement for an injured Durant," Shelburne writes. Similarly, another passage talks about Harden catching the ire of Doc Rivers and his teammates. “Harden didn't travel with the team to Miami, sources said. He traveled separately, with permission from the front office, to enjoy the nightlife. This is not uncommon in the NBA, or for Harden, but it didn't sit well with Rivers and several players on the team, sources said.”
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Harden Squares Off With The Sixers
Harden is getting all this attention due to the complete breakdown of his relationship with the Sixers. He exercised his player option year on the condition that the Sixers find him a trade to the Clippers. That trade never materialized and last month, the Sixers announced that they were taking Harden off the trade market. Furthermore, the NBA leveled a $100,000 fine at Harden after he called Sixers GM Daryl Morey a "liar" during a press conference.
“I think so,” Harden said when asked by KHOU 11 in Houston whether his relationship with the Sixers was “beyond repair”. “I’ve been patient all summer. For me, it’s just focus on what I can control and getting ready for this season.” While the Sixers reported last week that they intend to bring Harden to training camp next month. However, it’s unclear how that will play out and if Harden will even comply. Harden has previously adopted chaotic and disruptive tactics while trying to force trades with previous teams. Before being traded to the Sixers by the Nets, Harden began a practice of taking a string of unauthorized trips away from the team. This remains a developing story.