James Harden Says His & Ben Simmons’ Situations Are ‘Totally Different’

Ben Simmons, James Harden

Getty All-Star guards Ben Simmons and James Harden were almost traded for each other back in January, per reports.

After spending the last five seasons with the team that drafted him, All-Star forward Ben Simmons has decided it is time for him to move on from the Philadelphia 76ers. Simmons and Sixers center Joel Embiid have long been one of the most dominant duos in the Eastern Conference. But Simmons has decided that the pairing has run its course and doesn’t plan to put back on a Sixers jersey.

Simmons’ decision to hold out could cost him millions of dollars, but the former LSU Tiger is aware of the ramifications of his decision. He has already started to suffer from those penalties per Shams Charania of The Athletic. “The 76ers are not paying Ben Simmons his $8.25 million payment due today as the three-time All-Star awaits a trade,” Charania tweeted on October 1. “Simmons still is not showing up to Philadelphia and has understood the ramifications of his holdout.”

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James Harden Gets Honest About Ben Simmons’ Situation

Brooklyn Nets All-Star James Harden went through a holdout situation with the Houston Rockets at the beginning of last season before being traded to Brooklyn in January. Although Simmons and Harden were both disgruntled superstars who wanted a trade from their franchises, ‘The Beard’ insists that their situations are not comparable.

“I stay out of it. That’s not my situation. Mine was totally different. But hey, I’m here in Brooklyn,” Harden said of Simmons’ situation per Brian Lewis of the New York Post.

“It was a little uncomfortable for me just because I don’t like a lot of attention, especially negative or draining energy. I like to be in a good place. I like to smile and have people around me smiling and good vibes. So, it was kind of a little uncomfortable for me. But I had to go through it and on the other side, I’m happy to where I am now. Hopefully, everybody forgot about it. Hopefully, everybody moved on and everybody is great.”

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Steve Nash Details James Harden’s Rehab

Harden had a disappointing ending to his first season with the Nets. In the opening moments of their second-round series with the Milwaukee Bucks Harden injured his right hamstring which ultimately altered the direction of the series. After Nets star Kyrie Irving injured his ankle in Game 4, Harden returned in Game 5 but was just a shell of himself. The Nets went on to lose the series in 7 games.

Nets head coach Steve Nash says that Harden is healthy, but he still has a way to go before he is back to his normal self.

“He’s healthy, but he’s trying to get himself in shape and elevate that,” Nash said to Brian Lewis of the New York Post. “He hasn’t really played since the Boston series, and before that, he hadn’t played for a long time either. So, he hasn’t played a lot of basketball, period, since the [2020] bubble. It’s been stop-start for him. He still wants to get his legs under him, and then can feel a few new levels for him to go.”

For much of last season, Harden was the catalyst for the Nets offense and had even received some consideration for the NBA’s Most Valuable Player award before suffering a hamstring injury during the regular season. His being 100% healthy will be vital to the Nets winning a championship this season.

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