There may still be some hurt feelings, but 10-time All-Star James Harden joined the Philadelphia 76ers for the team’s second training camp practice at Colorado State University on Wednesday.
After a public feud with president of basketball operations Daryl Morey, Harden opted not to attend Monday’s Media Day in Camden, New Jersey. He was also absent from training camp on Tuesday, but appeared to be an enthusiastic participant in Wednesday’s workout based on pictures from the 76ers.
Harden was already off the court and nowhere to be found once media was let in to practice, per Tim Bontemps of ESPN.
While the 2018 MVP evaded reporters, new head coach Nick Nurse reportedly sang his praises. Harden was “in just about everything,” and looked good for this point in the year, Nurse said Wednesday.
Harden’s absence over the last two days was reportedly a last-ditch effort to go to the Los Angeles Clippers. But with no traction on a deal, the 76ers gave generally optimistic answers about his potential return during Media Monday.
Since Ramona Shelburne of ESPN reported last month that Harden and Morey’s issues stem from a lack of communication and bruised emotions over the years, their tiff has been relatively quiet.
The 34-year-old took things public after opting into his $35.6 million player option for the 2023-24 season on June 29 under the expectation that Morey would trade him this summer.
He was fined $100,000 in August for calling Morey a “liar” during a trip to China where he said he’d never play for the Sixers again as long as the current president of basketball operations was there.
On Friday, he was paid the 25% of his contract he was scheduled to receive by Sunday, according to ESPN. This came after he received the 25% payment he was scheduled to receive on July 1.