With all of the drama going on with James Harden and the Philadelphia 76ers, Tyrese Maxey broke his silence on the matter. On the August 24 episode of “Maxey on the Mic,” Maxey understands that his potentially former teammate has his own goals that may differ from his.
“I will say this about the situation: to each his own. James, he’s a professional, and he’s doing something for a reason. 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 then added that the Sixers dealt with this before with Ben Simmons, though he didn’t mention Simmons specifically while expressing his admiration for Harden no matter how the situation gets resolved.
“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. 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 Says Ime Udoka Didn’t Want James Harden
Though the Houston Rockets had interest in a Harden reunion, dating back to a Christmas Day report in 2022 by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Bill Simmons explained how the hiring of Ime Udoka changed their mind on bringing him back.
“(Ime) Udoka came in, he got the job at the end of April and they were like, ‘What about James Harden?’ He said, ‘Yeah we can think about it!’” Simmons explained on the August 20 edition 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.
“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. 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!”
What James Harden Meant With ‘Liar Comments’
The NBA launched an investigation after Harden called Sixers’ President of Basketball Operations Daryl Morey a liar. The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported what Harden meant when he called Morey a liar.
“As part of NBA probe into his “liar” comment, James Harden told league investigators he was referring to Daryl Morey telling Harden he will trade him ‘quickly’ following the $35.6 million opt in for 2023-24, per sources. The 76ers’ stance now is they expect to keep Harden,” Charania wrote via his X account on August 21.
Harden was then fined $100,000 for his comments, as reported by Marc Stein on August 22.