Thursday, November 30 2023

Philadelphia 76ers guard Tyrese Maxey is preparing for the 2023-24 NBA season with or without 10-time All-Star guard James Harden. On his “Maxey on the Mic” podcast, the 6-foot-2 guard discussed Harden’s trade request and latest offseason drama.

“I will say this about the situation: to each his own. James, he’s a professional, and he’s doing something for a reason,” Maxey said.

“You just have to kind of sit back and understand what he’s doing as a friend, but then as a teammate and someone as a part of an organization I’m with right now, you have to prepare for whether James is going to be there or not going to be there. That’s just the nature of it.”

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This is not the first player-front office disagreement in the City of Brotherly Love. Ben Simmons’ contract holdout from 2021 comes to mind. “It’s crazy to say this, but it’s not our first rodeo, honestly. That’s funny to say, but that’s life. James is his own individual and he’s able to do whatever he pleases,” Tyrese Maxey added.

“I’m preparing right now to play with him or without him. … And I love James. If James decided he’s going to come back and play for us, there’s nobody in this organization that would be upset about that.”

Sixers fans are wondering whether the 2023-24 season would be a waste if 76ers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey is able to trade Harden ahead of the 2023-24 season. Under former head coach Doc Rivers, the 76ers lost three straight times in the conference semifinals from 2021 to 2023.

Philadelphia 76ers guard Tyrese Maxey loves James Harden, cannot see the 2023-24 season as “a wash” if Sixers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey trades the 10-time All-Star

The Sixers fired Rivers this past May, following a 112-88 second-round Game 7 loss to the Boston Celtics. In June, former Toronto Raptors coach Nick Nurse succeeded Rivers at the position. Philadelphia has not advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals since 2001.

“People ask me, ‘If James doesn’t come back, do y’all see this season as a wash?’ … I think with the position that the Sixers are in, we can’t ever see a season as ‘a wash.’ We have talent. We have the reigning MVP on our team.

“And we have to go out there and expect to win. Expect to still try to complete our goal. It’ll definitely be even more difficult now that one of our best players has decided as of right now, he doesn’t want to come back and play. That’s how life goes.”

On Tuesday, the NBA issued James Harden a $100,000 fine “for public comments on August 14 and 17 indicating that he would not perform the services called for under his player contract unless traded to another team.”

During an Adidas event last week in China, the 14-year veteran said, “Daryl Morey is a liar, and I will never be a part of an organization that he’s a part of. Let me say that again: Daryl Morey is a liar, and I will never be a part of an organization that he’s a part of.”

On Thursday, Harden unfollowed Morey on X, formerly known as Twitter. In July, Harden removed the Philadelphia 76ers from his X/Twitter biography.

Harden requested a trade from the Sixers on June 29 after he exercised his $35.6 million player option for the 2023-24 season. His player option is part of the two-year, $68.64 million contract he signed last July.

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