East Notes: Sixers, James Harden, Cavs, Hornets


James Harden said he’s coming along after experiencing a nagging hamstring injury for much of last season.

“It’s getting there,” he said, via Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer. “We’re playing with a full training camp. So there’s times and periods that you have dead legs or rough legs. But those are the times when you’ve just got to push through it, those character things like that.”

Harden indicated he is welcoming a “fresh start” with a full Sixers camp.

“But now, it’s a little bit more different,” he said, via Pompey. “Different because of the time [this summer] I had off to prepare and get my mind and my body right. And it’s just an opportunity with the new people that we have. And, honestly, just the communication with myself and Doc (Rivers) and Joel (Embiid) to know when it’s time for me to be aggressive and for Joel to be aggressive.”


Cedi Osman has been mentioned in trade rumors since the end of last season, most recently involving the Suns and Jae Crowder

But he’s not about to let them get him down.

“I’ve been hearing those things,” Osman said, via Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com. “But I’m just focused on my basketball because you cannot control that. That’s why whenever I stepped on a court I was just working on my game and trying to get better. It’s been six years since coming over, six years in Cleveland.

“I’m happy here and this is my home. You cannot control that so at one point, if it happens it happens. But I’m just here right now and I’m happy being a Cleveland Cavalier.”



New coach Steve Clifford indicated the Hornets will need to be focused on defense this season, in speaking with Joe Vardon of The Athletic.

Though Clifford hardly sounded panicked about it.

“I mean, I think that we’ll find out,” Clifford said, via Vardon. “I’m not shirking the question. It’s just after (a few) days of practice, it’s hard to (know), you know what I mean? Every coaching staff is happy right now. It’s hard to have a bad three, four days of training camp. Talk to me in five weeks, six weeks, and we’ll have a better idea where we stand.”

This is Clifford’s second stint with the franchise, as he also coached Charlotte from 2013-18. He then coached the Magic for three years, before sitting out last season.

“Obviously it’s different or unique – I don’t even know what term would best describe it,” Clifford said, via Vardon. “But for me it was zero — zero — reservations.”

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