Sixers fans mocked both Harden, who turned 34, and the Sixers, given the drama between them since Harden opted into his contract in the hopes of being traded.
Another Sixers fan responded by sarcastically tweeting, “happy birthday” with a picture of a person choking back tears while wearing a mask of a happy face.
One fan even asked if the birthday wishes were genuine or just trying to troll Harden knowing all that has happened.
Sixers fans seemed amused by the team wishing happy birthday to the one player on the team who wants nothing to do with the franchise until further notice.
Tyrese Maxey Issues Statement on James Harden 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.”
Maxey stressed that he would like to play with Harden again should the opportunity present itself.
“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,” Maxey said. “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.”
Bill Simmons Explains Why Houston Passed on James Harden
Though there had been rumors linking Harden to his former team, the Houston Rockets, as first reported by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski on Christmas Day 2022, the Rockets’ hiring of Ime Udoka as head coach changed the momentum of those rumors, according to pundit Bill Simmons.
“Udoka came in, he got the job at the end of April, and they were like, ‘What about James Harden?’ [Udoka] said, ‘Yeah, we can think about it!’” Simmons said on the August 20 episode of “The Bill Simmons Podcast.” “Then when he got the job, he said, ‘I don’t f****** want that guy,’ and they threw their weight in front of it. That’s what happened.”
Simmons speculated that Harden was planning on becoming a Rocket again, three years after getting traded to the Brooklyn Nets.
“Harden thought he was going there. He thought he was getting a big contract. That’s why he took less money to help Philly win for a year because he knew he was going to leave,” Simmons said. “That’s my theory, and I think I’m right. Once that Houston thing got pulled out and Daryl says, ‘We’re going to trade you this summer,’ he looks around, and nobody f****** wants James Harden!”