The Philadelphia 76ers entered Media Day with James Harden still on the roster. With that elephant in the room, Daryl Morey and Joel Embiid delved into the drama that’s been going on with Harden during the offseason.
Morey talked about Harden’s infamous video in which he called Morey a liar on August 14.
“I don’t think I have to interpret it. I mean, I think he said what he meant. I think that was well reported on. And, obviously, attacks. I haven’t responded to that because I think it falls flat on its face. 20 years of work in the league. I always follow through on everything. Every top agent knows that. Everyone in the league knows that you can’t operate in this job without that. So privately, I appreciated all the key people in the league reaching out to me and knowing, obviously, that that’s that’s not true. So like I said before, obviously, it was disappointing that he chose to handle it that way,” Morey said, per Ky Carlin of Sixers Wire.
Harden has not let up since his comments went public, going to a club in which an attendee helped up the sign, “Daryl Morey is a liar.”
While Harden is doing everything to get himself off the Sixers, his efforts to get kicked off the team may be a turnoff to any interested suitor.
Joel Embiid Comments on ‘Unfortunate’ Drama
Embiid gave his thoughts on Harden’s ongoing issues with the Sixers, admitting that it’s a sad situation, but he’s focused on his goals with the Sixers above all else.
“It’s been unfortunate what has been going on, but the goal is to be together to try to win a championship. As far as myself, that’s all I’m focused on. I just want to win. Whatever it takes and whatever puts us in a position as an organization and as myself. That’s all I care about,” Embiid said, per Carlin.
Embiid dealt with something similar back when Ben Simmons wanted out. Embiid gave his thoughts on what the difference between those two sagas is.
“I think it’s a little different. I think the last time this happened, there was a lot of stuff in the media about that we’re kinda—whether it was blaming me and others on the team. So I think, at that time, I was a little defensive, but this time around, it just seems like maybe it was a misunderstanding between both sides. But I can only control what I can control. That’s to go out there and try to play what we have and try to be a leader and bring these guys along, and compete every night and try to win.”
The Sixers made out okay of the Simmons trade debacle when they ended up with Harden. Making out of the Harden trade debacle might be a little tougher.
James Harden Still Wants Clippers: Report
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Harden did not attend Sixers Media Day, as he is still upset that the Sixers have not traded him to his preferred destination, the Los Angeles Clippers.
“ESPN Sources: In what’s expected to be a continued attempt to push for a trade, Philadelphia 76ers star James Harden isn’t in attendance for the team’s media day today. Harden remains upset that the organization hasn’t moved him to the Clippers,” Wojnarowski reported via his X account.
Harden may want the Clippers more than anyone, but the fact that they haven’t shown any desperation to get him should show him that the strong level of interest he has in joining them might not be mutual.