According to information from Ramona Shelbourne, there appeared to be a concern among Sixers players and their coach, Doc Rivers, regarding James Harden’s indulgence in Miami’s nightlife before a game.
Reportedly, Harden did not accompany the team on their trip to Miami. Instead, he traveled separately with permission from the front office to enjoy the city’s nightlife.
While such actions are not uncommon in the NBA, they did not sit well with Rivers and several players on the team.
In addition to this nightlife episode, there was another issue related to Harden’s expectations regarding compensation. Upon joining the Philadelphia team, Harden had apparently assumed he would receive a similar compensation package as he had previously.
However, after his first season in Philadelphia, he willingly accepted approximately $14 million less than what he was entitled to in a player option.
This financial adjustment was made to facilitate the signing of veteran forward P.J. Tucker, who had been with the Miami Heat.
The Sixers had presented this financial decision as a “sacrifice,” both to Harden and the public, a narrative that Harden echoed throughout the season.
Harden expressed his commitment to this concept, stating, “You have to sacrifice to get to where you’ve never been. I’m in a really good space on the court and off the court.”
As the training camp approaches at the end of the month, the situation remains unresolved.
Sixers majority owner, Josh Harris, addressed the issue by saying, “The situation with James Harden is unfortunate. I want this to work out for all sides, including James. But we have to keep our eye on the big picture, which is that we’re still a contending team and most teams in the NBA would change places with us in five minutes.”
Harden needs to take a long look in the mirror.