James Harden Returns To Sixers Practice

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Boston Celtics v Philadelphia 76ers - Game Four
PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - MAY 07: James Harden #1 of the Philadelphia 76ers dribbles against the Boston Celtics during the third quarter in game four of the Eastern Conference Second Round Playoffs at Wells Fargo Center on May 07, 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)
Whether Harden travels to Milwaukee for the season opener is another question entirely.

James Harden has reportedly returned to Sixers practice after missing several days last week. The news was first reported by Adrian Wojnarowski at ESPN. The Sixers fly to Milwaukee later today ahead of their season opener tomorrow. It's unclear if Harden will be included on the team sheet for that game. Harden missed practices throughout the back end of last week, with the team reporting that no reason had been given for the absence. However, by the end of the week, the team had stated that Harden was away attending to a personal matter.

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.

Harden's Status For Opener Unclear

As mentioned, the Sixers start their season in Milwaukee tomorrow, a daunting prospect now that Damian Lillard is on the team. However, it's unclear what Harden's role in that game will be. For the Sixers, it's a choice between whether they want to play hardball. Either they can play him and seemingly acquiesce to his behavior. Or they can ground him and intentionally weaken their already shaky lineup.

As for Harden, he has made it very clear that his relationship with the team front office is beyond repair. "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. 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 said last week while pointedly refusing to explicitly name President of Basketball Operations Daryl Morey.

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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.