The ongoing saga between star guard James Harden and the 76ers is just a “bad situation” all the way around, Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer said during an appearance on a FanDuel Sportsbook podcast.
“When you look at this in Philadelphia, this is the second player in three summers who requested a trade,” Pompey said, referring to Harden and former Sixers guard/forward Ben Simmons. “In both instances, the said player was supposed to be the co-star to Joel Embiid. And they want out of here, right?”
Harden does indeed want out and has made that perfectly clear, calling head of basketball operations Daryl Morey “a liar” during a recent trip to China for an Adidas event. Harden has since been fined by the NBA, as we relayed here.
“So you look at this, this is a bad situation. Not only is a player saying it, but it’s James Harden saying it about Daryl Morey, and they were supposed to be tied at the hip,” Pompey said. “And I’m here to tell you they could be in for a long one. You thought the Ben Simmons stuff was bad … I think when you see a guy like James, who is going to be a hall-of-famer, who’s made his money, he could say, ‘You know what? I’m done with this, and you’re not gonna put me in a corner and make me, like, beg to come back.'”
In other words, Harden could just not report to the team when training camp begins in early October, continuing to hold out for as long as it takes.
That may impact him financially, but it could be even worse for Morey and the 76ers, who are aiming to contend. They’ve made that abundantly clear in their trade discussions involving Harden — that they want to stay near the top of the Eastern Conference.
Basically, there doesn’t seem to be any winning for Harden, the Sixers or even the NBA as a whole. Right now, it’s only been degrees of losing.
— A. Sherrod Blakely (@ASherrodblakely) August 18, 2023