James Harden Misses Another Sixers Practice

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Boston Celtics v Philadelphia 76ers - Game Six
PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - MAY 11: James Harden #1 of the Philadelphia 76ers reacts to a play against the Boston Celtics during the second quarter in game six of the Eastern Conference Semifinals in the 2023 NBA Playoffs at Wells Fargo Center on May 11, 2023 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)

Harden is absent for the second day in a row.

James Harden has missed Sixers practice for the second day in a row. After stating that no reason was given for the first absence, the organization has now said Harden is away from the team due to a personal matter. "I think the organization has made it clear what's going on. They're working on stuff, as we say, day by day. We had a really good practice today. Very energetic. The guys that were here, that's what we're focused on," head coach Nick Nurse said when asked about the absence. Furthermore, Nurse said it was "unlikely" that Harden would play in the team's preseason finale against Atlanta on Friday.

The missing of practice is something that experts have been surprised hasn't happened sooner with Harden. The veteran has something of a reputation for being disruptive during offseason activities when he is trying to force a trade. However, it is believed that rumors of renewed discussions between the Sixers and Clippers compelled Harden to put in a few weeks of good behavior.

Read More: Ime Udoka Says Fred VanVleet Was A “Better Fit” Than James Harden For Rockets

Harden Says Sixers Relationship Can't Be Fixed

However, the escalation to skipping practice shouldn't be all that surprising. Last week, Harden once again stated that he has no relationship with the Sixers front office and that his dispute with the team can only be resolved via trade. "This is not even about this situation -- this is in life. When you lose trust in someone, it's like a marriage … you lose trust in someone, you know what I mean? It's pretty simple," Harden said at his first media appearance since the start of Sixers training camp. "When I got traded here, my whole thing is I wanted to retire a Sixer. I wanted to be here and retire a Sixer. And the front office didn’t have that in their future plans," Harden added while pointedly refusing to explicitly name President of Basketball Operations Daryl Morey.

Harden did, however, express a great deal of respect for Nurse. “Nick is very versatile. He’s a players’ coach. He understands it. I’ve known him a little bit; he was the G League coach in Houston. He’s obviously won a championship. He just sees the game different and I’m a fan of him," Harden said. On the topic of basketball, Harden said he would be playing this year, ruling out the possibility of a holdout. But a week is a long time in sports and it appears that playing basketball may no longer be on the table for Harden, at least in Philadelphia.

Read More: Michael Rubin Says James Harden Saga Wouldn’t Have Happened If He Was Still Sixers Owner


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.