Speaking to reporters on Friday for the first time since reporting to training camp, Sixers guard James Harden offered an emphatic “no” when asked if he believes his relationship with the front office and the franchise can still be repaired (Twitter video link via PHLY Sports).
Do you think is something that can be repaired?
Harden: “This is not even about in 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.” pic.twitter.com/NC3vslbd5T
— PHLY Sixers (@PHLY_Sixers) October 13, 2023
“This is not even about this situation, this is in life,” Harden said when asked to explain why he didn’t see a path to reconciliation. “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.”
While Harden hasn’t been shy about specifically calling out Sixers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey since requesting a trade in June, he didn’t do so during today’s brief media session. He did, however, allude to having his trust betrayed by people that he’d “known for over a decade,” which appeared to be a reference to Morey (Twitter video link via Kyle Neubeck of PHLY Sports).
“When I got traded here, my whole thing was, I wanted to retire a Sixer,” Harden said. “I wanted to be here and retire a Sixer. And the front office didn’t have that in their future plans.”
As has been reported throughout the offseason, Harden reportedly expected to receive a lucrative multiyear offer from the 76ers in free agency this summer, but when he got no assurances that such an offer was coming, he opted to go in a different direction, picking up his player option and asking for a trade.
We just heard from James Harden, who again said he thinks his relationship with the Sixers’ front office can’t be repaired.
Harden said he’s still ramping up, intends to play in the preseason finale (and to play in general beyond that). Story to come.
— Noah Levick (@NoahLevick) October 13, 2023
Based on Harden’s comments today, it’s clear he won’t be rescinding his trade request anytime soon. However, the former MVP also doesn’t seem inclined to hold out again after skipping media day and showing up a day late to training camp.
Harden has yet to play a preseason game, but said today that he’s still ramping up and plans to play in the Sixers’ preseason finale and beyond, according to Noah Levick of NBC Sports Philadelphia (Twitter link).