Home 76ers Sixers President Daryl Morey: James Harden In ‘Great Place’ Physically

Sixers President Daryl Morey: James Harden In ‘Great Place’ Physically

For much of last season, James Harden was dealing with a nagging hamstring injury. James Harden

It started with the Nets, and still lingered after Harden was traded to the 76ers in February. But with training camp right around the bend, Harden should be back to his normal elf, health-wise, Sixers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey indicated.

“More than any player I’ve worked with, he never says something’s wrong,” Morey said on a podcast with NBC Sports’ John Clark, via James Herbert of CBS Sports. “It actually surprised me when he said what he said after the season. For him to say that means that there were more issues than he — look, he’s, you know, ‘spit on it, get on the floor, win at whatever cost you can do, go out there and win.’ He’s been one of the most durable guys in NBA history prior to the hamstring issue. I know he’s worked hard to get it to a great place. It’s in a great place right now.”

Harden, 33, is getting ready for the season, of course. But perhaps preparing in different ways than he used to.

“I think the ways you prepare in your early 30s are different than you would in your 20s,” Morey said. “And I think our performance staff has done a great job working with him to develop a custom plan for this offseason, for both strengthening the muscles around the hamstring to make sure that’s in a good place but also work on all those other areas that you maybe didn’t have to work on in your 20s but you do in your 30s.” 

Harden actually opted out of his contract at the end of the season, but only to sign a two-year deal worth $68 million with the Sixers in free agency. He averaged 21.0 points, 10.5 assists and 7.1 rebounds in 21 regular-season games with Philadelphia.

Along with Joel Embiid, Harden will be teaming with a veteran cast that also includes Tobias Harris, as well as newcomers P.J. Tucker and Montrezl Harrell.

“We don’t even need five-years-ago James,” Morey said. “We need the guy that we saw last year for most of the games.”

 

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