Michael Rubin Says James Harden Saga Wouldn't Have Happened If He Was Still Sixers Owner

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Houston Dynamo v Inter Miami CF - 2023 U.S. Open Cup Final
FORT LAUDERDALE, FLORIDA - SEPTEMBER 27: NBA player James Harden watches the game during the first half during the 2023 U.S. Open Cup Final between the Houston Dynamo FC and Inter Miami CF at DRV PNK Stadium on September 27, 2023 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/USSF/Getty Images for USSF)
Rubin lamented the state of affairs in Philly.

Michael Rubin, the former owner of the Sixers, has spoken out on the ongoing tensions between James Harden and the team's front office. “It wouldn't have happened. First of all, James is family to me. I'm not going to hide about that, I love James. This thing is breaking my heart. This thing was just not handled well … There's nobody who wants to win a championship more than James Harden. I know this guy like my brother. People give James a hard time because he likes to have fun and it's bullshit. The guy's work ethic for basketball is insane. I block out the noise that relates to him because a lot of people don't know the real James Harden and how badly he wants to win. I think he's in great shape and he's gonna ball out this year," Rubin told the Pat Bev Podcast.

Harden came back to the Sixers after an eleventh-hour decision to exercise his player option. However, it was soon reported that Harden had only done so on the condition that he would be traded to the Clippers. The move never materialized. Furthermore, Harden was eventually fined $100,000 for calling Sixers GM Daryl Morey a "liar" at a press conference. While Harden has reported to training camp, it remains to be seen how much of a disruptive influence he will end up being.

Harden Doesn't Play First Preseason Game

Harden did not play during the Sixers' preseason opener, a 114-106 loss to the Celtics. However, there isn't much that can be gleaned from this. Joel Embiid also didn't see the floor as new head coach Nick Nurse played mostly his regular-season second and third rotations. It remains to be seen how many minutes Harden will get in the Sixers' other two games of the preseason - another matchup against the Celtics and a game against the Nets.

However, some sources have suggested that people shouldn't expect too much disruption from Harden. He is reportedly trying to keep his behavior in check as the Clippers are still working on a deal for him. However, it's unclear how close to a deal the two sides may be. The Sixers reportedly want Terance Mann and multiple first-round picks in exchange for Harden. The saga remains a developing story and we'll have any updates as and when they emerge.


About The Author
Benjamin Mock (they/them) is a sports and culture writer working out of Philadelphia. Previously writing for the likes of Fixture, Dexerto, Fragster, and Jaxon, Ben has dedicated themselves to engaging and accessible articles about sports, esports, and internet culture. With a love for the weirder stories, you never quite know what to expect from their work.