James Harden

Harden effusive in praising Maxey, very brief on Morey and Embiid 

Harden said he’s “very, very proud” of the Sixers’ first-time All-Star guard. 

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James Harden’s comments Wednesday night on Daryl Morey and Joel Embiid were just about as succinct as possible.

Does he think he’ll ever patch things up with Morey after calling the Sixers’ president of basketball operations a “liar” this summer?

“No, no,” Harden said. “Hell no.”

Has Harden talked with Joel Embiid, the Sixers’ sidelined superstar big man? 

“Nah,” Harden said.

Has he kept a relationship with Embiid? 

“No,” he said.

There you have it.

On other subjects, Harden provided considerably more depth. He was clearly happy to discuss Tyrese Maxey, whose 26-point, eight-assist night wasn’t enough to lift the Sixers to a drama-packed win over the Clippers in Harden's first game at Wells Fargo Center since an early-season deal between the teams.

Maxey absorbed many of Harden’s tricks of the trade during their year and a half as teammates. 

“I’m very, very proud of him,” Harden said. “He’s very, very confident. He has the opportunity to make the mistakes and grow, and obviously he’s a first-time All-Star. He works his butt off, as I said while I was here. He puts the work in, so the results are going to show. I’m extremely proud of him. 

“He’ll continue to get better, he’ll continue to grow, and he’ll be a problem for a very, very long time in this league.”

Harden had 16 points, 14 assists and only one turnover Wednesday. He’s played 65 games so far with the Clippers — just 14 fewer than as a Sixer — and averaged 17.1 points and 8.6 assists for a 45-27 team. 

Sixers fans booed the 10-time All-Star all night. 

“I expected it,” he said. “I really don’t know what it was about, but I expected it. So it is what it is. They don’t even know why they were booing, I don’t think. If you ask them, they probably don’t know why they were booing.”

It’s now been quite a while since the Sixers suffered a Round 2, Game 7 blowout loss in Boston, Harden called his relationship with head coach Doc Rivers merely “OK,” the offseason became a deeply uncomfortable standoff, and news broke of a wee-hours Halloween deal.

“You look at it as a whole, like in life,” Harden said. “Things that you want or may feel like should happen, they don’t happen. And it’s like, ‘All right, cool. What’s next?’ Obviously, people always have commentary on it — or their side, or an opinion — just because they’re on the outside looking in. 

“But for me personally, I feel like I did everything I needed to do in the sense of, the year prior, taking myself off the max to help the team get better for this city — and for myself, obviously … but to win a championship.

“Things didn’t work out. I wanted to get paid. They weren’t talking. It is what it is. Now you move on. Everybody’s happy, life is good and everybody’s looking forward.”

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