Despite James Harden‘s issues with the Philadelphia 76ers as a whole, he takes no issue with new coach Nick Nurse. While talking with reporters, Harden praised Nurse for his coaching schemes, explaining why he thinks they are “great.”
“Nick is very versatile. He’s a player’s coach. He understands it and thus far — I’ve known a little bit when he was the G League coach in Houston, but obviously, he’s won a championship and he’s different. I’m a fan of him,” Harden said, per Sixers Wire’s Ky Carlin.
Harden talked about how Nurse’s schemes differ from the Sixers’ previous coach, Doc Rivers
“I think it’s more spacing,” Harden said. “More opportunities for everyone and just unpredictable. He can change things up on the fly, and things in one, five, six, seven possessions aren’t going right, or in one quarter, he can change and make an adjustment which is very difficult to do, but he’s very good at that.”
Nurse came to the Sixers with an impressive pedigree from his time with the Toronto Raptors. Of course, it may not matter since Harden has given every indication that he won’t stay a Sixer for much longer.
James Harden Said He Wanted to Retire a Sixer
Though Harden has not been a problem in training camp, he did not hide his disdain for the organization when talking with reporters. Part of that was his desire to finish his career with the Sixers.
“When I got traded here, my whole thing is I wanted to retire a Sixer. I wanted to be here and retire a Sixer, and the front office didn’t have that in their future plans,” Harden said, per PHLY SPORTS’ Kyle Neubeck.
Harden reiterated his stance that his relationship with the organization cannot be repaired
“This is not even about in this situation, this is in life. When you lose trust in someone, it’s like a marriage. You lose trust in someone, you know what I mean? It’s pretty simple,” Harden said, per Neubeck.
Despite Harden’s issues with the franchise, he’s not going the same route that Ben Simmons back when he wanted off the Sixers in 2021. At the same time, there’s a very big elephant in the room that the team will have to confront one way or the other.
Tyrese Maxey Praises James Harden’s Professionalism
Harden’s issues have not gotten in the way of learning under Nurse, nor has it affected his teammate, it appears. Tyrese Maxey praised Harden for his professionalism despite still wanting off the team.
“First of all, Imma give a shoutout to James,” Maxey told J.J. Redick on the October 12 episode of Redick’s “The Old Man & The Three” podcast. “He didn’t make it weird at all. He came in and he was very, like, not what I was expecting. He was very receptive. He worked hard. He did all the drills. He was talking to, even like, young guys that he didn’t know. James Harden, MVP, scoring champ, two-time assist leader, he’s sitting there talking to guys like Ricky Council, ‘Hey, when you’re help, you should do this.’ It’s not what I was picturing.”
Even if Harden is hellbent on leaving the Sixers, it’s clear that his desires are nothing personal toward his teammates.