According to 76ers head coach Nick Nurse, James Harden took part in the team’s pregame video session and walkthrough before to Sunday night’s home opener against the Portland Trail Blazers.
Harden is anticipated to participate in the team’s Tuesday practice at its Camden, New Jersey, location.
“James was here,” Nurse said ahead of Sunday night’s game at Wells Fargo Center. “He was here for the film session and walk-through. The report on him is he had some good conditioning days, still in the ramp-up process, looking to have him back in practice on Tuesday. That’s about where we are with that.”
Nurse said that everything had gone as planned when asked whether there had been any difficulties with Harden’s conditioning and ramp-up work over the previous several days.
“All signs are positive conditioning-wise and all those things,” Nurse said. “We just need to get him in some live action, then hopefully we can do that Tuesday.”
Wearing pants and a green sweatshirt, Harden was sitting on the bench with his teammates on Sunday. Although Philadelphia barely unveiled their starting lineup before to the game, he was briefly featured in the team’s pregame video. As a result, there was no chance to gauge the crowd’s reaction when Harden appeared on the jumbotron.
For Harden and the 76ers, getting here has been a roundabout journey as the drama around Harden’s possible season-long involvement with the club rages on. In June, Harden asked for a trade after choosing to exercise his $35.6 million player option for the 2023–24 season. In August, he repeatedly referred to Daryl Morey, the president of basketball operations for the 76ers, as “a liar” at a promotional event in China.
Harden has only spoken to the media once since training camp began, and he said earlier this month that he doesn’t think the relationship can be fixed. Harden has refuses to mention Morey’s name, instead referring to him as “the front office.”
Harden, meanwhile, did not show up for the team’s first day of training camp at Colorado State University or for media day. After spending the following ten days with the team, he left for an additional ten days due to what the team considered to be a personal matter.
It was decided that Harden would stay in Philadelphia for the remainder of the week while he healed himself enough to be ready to play on Wednesday, the day before the Bucks visited Milwaukee to begin the Philadelphia team’s season.
After the game on Sunday, which is the second part of a back-to-back, there will be a Monday off. Practices are scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday. Harden may possibly make his season debut against the Raptors on Thursday night in Philadelphia if he successfully navigates through them.
Tyrese Maxey has been Philadelphia’s starting point guard for the last two games despite Harden’s injury. In the Bucks game, the fourth-year guard finished with 31 points, 8 assists, and 0 turnovers. In the Toronto victory on Saturday, he had 34 points, 6 rebounds, 7 assists, and 1 turnover.