James Harden To Miss First Two Sixers Games Of The Season

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Philadelphia 76ers v Boston Celtics - Game Five
BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - MAY 09: James Harden #1 of the Philadelphia 76ers dribbles downcourt against the Boston Celtics during the second half of game five of the Eastern Conference Second Round Playoffs at TD Garden on May 09, 2023 in Boston, Massachusetts. The 76ers defeat the Celtics 115-103. 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 Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
Harden could make his season debut this weekend against the Blazers.

James Harden will miss the first two games of the Sixers season despite returning to practice. The team decision means he will miss road games against Milwaukee and Toronto. However, he could suit up for their home opener against Portland. "He's been gone for 10 days, so we're in ramp up phase again. So, like we would normally do, he will stay and get on-court work with our staff and with our players from the Blue Coats [G-League affiliate] and two-way guys and things like that and try to get him ramped up as soon as we can," head coach Nick Nurse explained Wednesday.

Harden's appearance at practice Wednesday was the first time in over a week that he'd been with the team. 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. "He is fine. He understands he's got to get ramped up. Like I said, he's been gone for 10 days so he understands it. He wants to get back to playing live, full-court basketball," Nurse added.

Harden Back, Relationship With Front Office Still Dead

However, just because Harden is back with the team doesn't mean that things are peachy in the City of Brotherly Love. Two weeks ago, 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. Given Nurse's comments, it appears that the new coach is more than willing to work with Harden, if Harden wants to be worked with.

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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.