James Harden talks Sixers tenure, Daryl Morey, Joel Embiid in return

PHILADELPHIA — The Philadelphia 76ers welcomed James Harden back to the Wells Fargo Center on Wednesday night as a member of the Los Angeles Clippers. The Beard spent 1.5 seasons with the Sixers after being acquired at the 2022 deadline from the Brooklyn Nets.

In 79 games for the Sixers across two seasons, Harden averaged 21.0 points, 10.6 assists, and 6.4 rebounds while shooting 37% from deep and 43.1% from the floor. He led the league in assists in the 2022-23 season and did a lot of good things for Philadelphia as he and Joel Embiid were one of the best duos in the league.

“I think I did a lot,” Harden said of his time in Philadelphia after a Clippers win. “I had a very impactful–positive impact on a lot of people. I’m grateful for those relationships. I’m grateful for the opportunity and things like that. Those are things that I can cherish and move on with. Everything else doesn’t matter.”

It was a tumultuous summer as Harden called out President of Basketball Operations Daryl Morey as a “liar” and things were tenuous all offseason. Philadelphia then shipped Harden to the Clippers in October.

“I guess you look at it in a whole in life, and things that you want and feel like should happen, and they don’t happen,” Harden stated. “So it’s like, ‘Alright, cool. What’s next?’ Obviously, people always have a commentary on it, or their side, or an opinion just because they’re outside looking in.”

Harden felt as if the Sixers were hoodwinking him after he made a sacrifice in the 2022 offseason. He wanted to get paid in the 2023 offseason and it just wasn’t happening for him.

“For me, personally, I feel like I did everything that I needed to do in the sense of the year prior, taking myself off the max (contract) to help the team get better, for this city. You know what I mean?” Harden continued. “For myself, obviously, to win a championship. Things didn’t work out. I wanted to get paid. They weren’t talking. So it is what it is. Then you move on. Everybody’s happy. Life is good.”

Harden received a lot of boos in his return on Wednesday. He admitted that he was confused by that, but also expected it.

“I expected it,” he stated. “I really don’t know what it’s about, but I expected it. So it is what it is. I don’t even know why they were booing. You can ask them. I don’t know why they were booing.”

When asked if he and Morey would ever patch things up, Harden said: “No. Hell no.”

When asked if he has a relationship with Embiid, Harden also said: “No.”

Now both sides can move on. The Sixers face the Cleveland Cavaliers on the road on Friday.

Story originally appeared on Sixers Wire