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Things have not gotten any less volatile between James Harden and the Philadelphia 76ers. After publicly demanding a trade and speaking out against general manager Daryl Morey this past summer, Harden was evidently told not to travel with the Sixers for their season-opening road trip, which began with a narrow loss to the Milwaukee Bucks on Thursday.
Recently, former NBA player turned analyst Kendrick Perkins spoke on the state of affairs between Harden and the Sixers on ESPN’s show First Take, and the big man did not mince words.
“Here’s the thing. The best case is for Daryl Morey and the Philadelphia 76ers to do exactly what they just did: Tell him to stay home,” said Perkins. “Stay home. And if James Harden doesn’t realize the importance of that, then that’s on him. And guess what? He’s going to be straddling the fence of actually being out of the league next year.”
It’s certainly worth questioning whether the headaches that follow Harden to every organization he joins are worth the 34 year-old’s rapidly declining productivity on the court. While Harden is still a very capable playmaker, he is no longer the dynamic scoring machine he was throughout the mid 2010’s, and his pairing with Sixers’ star Joel Embiid largely failed to live up to its immense expectations in two straight postseasons.
Likely without Harden in the lineup once again, the Sixers will next take the floor on October 28 against the Toronto Raptors. That game is slated to tip off at 7:30 PM ET.
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