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Philadelphia 76ers guard James Harden skipped practice Thursday for the second straight day, with the team officially saying the disgruntled player is away because of a personal matter.
“I think the organization has made it clear what’s going on,” coach Nick Nurse said at the 76ers’ New Jersey complex. “They’re working on stuff, as we say, day by day. We had a really good practice today. Very energetic. The guys that were here, that’s what we’re focused on.”
Harden leaves team less than one week before season tip-off
He did attend training camp and continued to practice with the 76ers in the wake of his offseason trade demand. Nevertheless, he has yet to participate in team activities.
Harden said last week his fractured relationship with team president Daryl Morey could not be repaired. He compared it to a broken marriage and said over the summer that he could not play for the 76ers.
Previously, he forced his exit from the Houston Rockets and Brooklyn Nets after lackluster seasons. However, his propensity to move on may have finally caught up with Harden.
Once known as a regular season step-back scoring sensation, in recent years Harden has proven to be more of a playoff flop.
James Harden skips practice after another putrid playoff performance
During the 2022 regular season, his offensive rating of 123 actually tied for the best of his career. The opposite was true during the playoffs.
According to ClutchPoints, during the Celtics series, Harden’s on-court plus/minus was -8.7 points per game. Outside of Games 1 and 4, where the lefty scored 87 points while shooting 62% from the field, Harden shot 16 for 63 (25%) and hit four three-pointers on 28 attempts.
Due to the putrid play and a reputation for running when times get tough, Harden is only rumored to be involved with a potential Los Angeles Clippers trade.
Ghosting his team on yet another practice, Harden is making it clear he wants to leave Philadelphia. However, the stalemate continues between the two sides.