Call it Scary Hours or something else. The Philadelphia 76ers have a committed James Harden at training camp. He is willingly taking hard coaching from Doc Rivers with the stated goal of being “unbeatable.” The Houston Harden might be making a comeback.
The viral clip showing Rivers coaching up Harden at Thursday’s practice had fans in a frenzy. In it, the Sixers head coach takes the 10-time All-Star aside and instructs him to build up his chemistry with Joel Embiid. The 35-second video is telling because it shows the vibe for the 2022-23 campaign centers around communication. Rivers is challenging Harden to be aggressive while preaching teamwork.
“What I got to get y’all right on is when to rove, when to pop. When you got the ice [isolation], and that’s what I was saying, when you and him [Embiid], y’all gotta get a communication where y’all listen to each other, right? If you want it, like I thought that last three or four times you wanted it, we got to get you in what you want.
“Like you can’t just say you’re a facilitator. I need you to be a scorer and a facilitator and it’s going to take time to figure it out. But we need you to be the aggressive James that you were those last five minutes. And it’s going to come, it’s going to take a while, but when it clicks James, we’re going to be unbeatable.”
Sixers Laying Harden, Maxey Content on Thick
There has been no shortage of video content showing James Harden and Tyrese Maxey during the first few practices at The Citadel in South Carolina. The Sixers’ new dynamic duo has been seen draining shot after shot after shot, including Maxey swishing one from half court.
“Win as many championships as I can, that’s the goal,” Harden told reporters. “Just going through what I went through these past couple of years, my focus is just taking one year at a time, making sure I can feel and do everything that I do individually and then making sure my individual goals mesh with the team and our entire goals. But taking this year and trying to do what we all expect to do and we’ll go from there.”
Rivers Wants to Improve ‘Horrible’ Post Passing
One of the things Rivers was drilling into Harden’s brain after Thursday’s practice was post-passing. The Sixers were “horrible” at it last season and it needs to improve if they want to establish Joel Embiid as a threat down low on the block. It’s up to Harden – he averaged 10.5 assists in 21 games for the Sixers – to lead the way.
“I’m going to stay on you because I get what you’re saying,” Rivers told Harden. “I want you to hear me first, I get it 100% but what I’m trying to do is get Joel [Embiid] first to establish himself, be a better post player. We were horrible — would you agree we were a horrible post-passing team last year? [Harden agreed] — so our objective is to get that right first. That’s why you got to have the right spirit about it and you got to be the leader. Get them to get it right.”