With the Philadelphia 76ers still having the James Harden drama hang over their heads, Joel Embiid‘s future with the team may be questioned. However, ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne reported that Embiid has told the franchise that he is fine with everything that’s been going on. For now, at least.
“Thus far, Embiid has given the franchise assurances he is OK riding out the current drama with Harden, sources said. How long he gives them to resolve the matter remains to be seen,” Shelburne wrote in a September 6 story.
Shelburne added that Tyrese Maxey is more or less in the same ballpark.
“Maxey has done the same, even waiting on a contract extension this summer so the franchise can preserve its ability to operate under the salary cap and improve the team in the future.”
It’s a sigh of relief for the Sixers that while Harden remains unhappy and wants out, their other two star players are loyal enough to the team to weather the storm. Shelburne added that the two have been in contact with Harden throughout the entire process.
“Both have been in touch with Harden throughout, maintaining their personal relationships. Embiid even invited Harden to his wedding in July,” Shelburne wrote.
James Harden Responds to Report via Instagram
Shelburne revealed other details in her article, including Harden’s reaction to his All-Star snub, his relationship with Doc Rivers, and that the Sixers were stunned that he opted into his contract, among other details.
After Shelburne’s article was published, Harden seemingly took to Instagram to respond to what Shelburne had revealed.
Harden posted the following caption to his Instagram story, “Y’all gotta chill with these reports,” Harden wrote while adding three laugh emojis.
He then added, “Imma start reporting s***,” with the eyes emoji. Podcaster Adam Aaronson of The Rights to Ricky Sanchez aggregated Harden’s words on his X account.
Harden has not backed away from his trade request and has taken to Instagram since his intentions were made clear, saying that it was “time to get uncomfortable.”
If Harden starts revealing his side of things, that would certainly fit the definition of uncomfortable, but it may just be what inspires the Sixers front office to trade him as soon as possible.
James Harden’s Former Coach Calls Him Out
On September 5, NBA Insider Ohm Youngmisuk revealed on ESPN’s NBA Today that one of Harden’s former coaches told him that
“As I was told by a source who coached James Harden in the past, that he was talking to another coach that coached James Harden, and said, ‘Listen, James is good until he isn’t good,’” as Youngmisuk said.
Following Doc Rivers’ firing, Shelburne revealed that he and Harden never had the best rapport with one another on May 16. Kevin McHale, who coached Harden on the Houston Rockets from 2012 to 2015, spoke at length with Heavy Sports’ Steve Bulpett about his time coaching Harden. He even mentioned that Harden had planned to force him out as coach during the 2015-16 season.
“The next year he came to camp, he was fat and didn’t feel like playing, and I got fired (11) games into the season,” McHale told Bulpett. “He had a plan.”
Not every coach Harden has played for got fired, but his history with them is not great.
Matt John covers the Philadelphia 76ers and Boston Celtics for Heavy.com. A Massachusetts native, he has covered the NBA since 2018, with stops at FanSided, Basketball News and Basketball Insiders. More about Matt John
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