Saturday, May 18, 2024

Harden misses six training sessions in a row


WASHINGTON (AFP) – The dispute between James Harden and his team, the Philadelphia 76ers, continued after the 34-year-old star missed his second straight practice on Thursday, casting doubt on his presence when the NBA playoffs begin next week.

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The Sixers cited “personal reasons” to justify the absence of Harden, who has not participated in any preseason games for the new season.

Philadelphia begins its campaign in the new season by facing the host Milwaukee Bucks next Thursday.

Harden, who moved to the Sixers from Brooklyn in February 2022, was involved in a dispute with Sixers president Daryl Morey over an unfulfilled trade promise, while his contract expires at the end of the 2023-2024 season.

Harden, who played in 10 All-Star games, expressed his displeasure with Morey’s stance, calling him a “liar” and announcing that he would no longer play as long as he was club president.

The three-time league leading scorer with the prominent beard formed a fiery duo with the league’s best player, Cameroonian Joel Embiid, last season and teamed up with the Sixers to lead Philadelphia to the NBA title.

But in last season’s Eastern Conference semifinal loss against the Boston Celtics, Harden’s brilliance completely faded.

Losing last season’s best passer is a blow for Philadelphia. However, his coach Nick Nurse said he was satisfied with the last practice without Harden, explaining that the team was managing his condition “day by day”.

Philadelphia faces Atlanta today in its final preseason game.

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Camelia Garner
Camelia Garner
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