James Harden does not attend Philadelphia 76ers media day

After forcing his departure from the team by making controversial statements in August, criticizing the Philadelphia 76ers manager, point guard James Harden decided not to attend the media day, which precedes the 2023/24 NBA season.

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Daryl Morey, the franchise’s president of operations and one of those responsible for Harden’s joining the 76ers, said at a press conference that he is looking for the best solution for the athlete’s departure. Recently, James called Morey a “liar” in a video posted online, after he withdrew from negotiating the player’s move to the Los Angeles Clippers.

“Harden is not here today. He is still wanting to leave. We are looking for the best way to resolve this situation, together with his representatives, in a way that is good for both parties,” Morey told journalists present.

“We have the league’s MVP (Joel Embiid), we have a rising talent like Tyrese Maxey, winning players like Tobias Harris and De’Anthony Melton, new contracts like Patrick Beverly, Kelly Oubre and Mo Bamba and great young athletes like Paul Reed,” Morey added.

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Meanwhile, Nick Nurse, the team’s new coach, asked the team for patience, and said he already has a plan B, in case Harden decides not to participate in pre-season training.

“Either we trade for a player of the same level, who will keep us in the fight for the title, or we try to get an athlete of the “same caliber” through the draft lottery,” said Nurse.

Finally, last season’s MVP, Joel Embiid, said he thought it was a shame what happened to Harden, but repeated Morey’s speech to the press, stating that he is focused on fighting for the title and that he doesn’t care much about what happens outside of the courts.

“It’s a shame what happened. The goal is to be together and try to win a title. That’s all I focus on, I just want to win. Anything that puts us in that position is all that interests me,” Embiid said.

It’s worth remembering that James Harden exercised his $35.6 million player option on his contract and only has the current season left before becoming a free agent. Because of this, it doesn’t look like the veteran will get a very lucrative contract in the future.

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