All your favorite teams and sources in one place

Build your feed

Your Teams.
All Sources.

Build your feed

© 2024 BVM Sports. Best Version Media, LLC.

No results found.
Doc Rivers: James Harden ‘why I’m doing TV’
James Harden and Doc Rivers spent less than two seasons together in Philadelphia after Rivers was let go by the 76ers following an early playoff exit in 2022-23. (Credit: Kyle Ross-USA TODAY Sports)

Doc Rivers: James Harden ‘why I’m doing TV’

PHILADELPHIA (BVM) – Throughout the NBA offseason, James Harden’s relationship with the Philadelphia 76ers was a popular storyline. As the 2023-24 season begins, the drama between the All-Star guard and the Sixers has only increased. 

In late June, Harden exercised the player option in his contract for 2023-24, but requested a trade from the Sixers at the same time. Harden claimed he wanted to play for the Los Angeles Clippers, while others felt he may return to the Houston Rockets, who reportedly explored a trade for the veteran before he made it clear his main goal was a scoring title.

In August, Harden made more headlines by calling 76ers president Daryl Morey a “liar” and said he would not play for Morey and the Sixers again. 

Yet, come training camp, Harden showed up to practice with the team in Colorado. But last week, he was unexpectedly absent from Sixers practice, and reportedly was spending time in Houston

On Wednesday, the saga took another turn, as Harden returned to Philadelphia with his bags packed, ready to fly to Milwaukee with the team for the 76ers’ season-opener on Thursday against the Bucks.

Harden will not play in the season-opener, though, and in fact, the Sixers will have him hang back in Philadelphia to continue practicing and ramping up for the rest of the season. 

As more and more drama unfolds, additional details have emerged about the issues surrounding Harden. On Wednesday, his former coach, Doc Rivers, shared some details about his relationship with Harden during an interview on the “Dan Patrick Show.”

The relationship between Harden and Rivers was rumored to be rocky last year, and the longtime NBA head coach believes it all began when Harden was left off of the All-Star team.

“I would say not making the All-Star team really bothered him,” Rivers said. “I thought that that was egregious. The coaches just didn’t put him on.”

Prior to the All-Star break, Rivers was commended for molding Harden into more of a true point guard. But after the break, Harden’s mentality was different, as he went back to placing his main focus on being an elite scorer.

“If you can keep him in that, and not want to chase numbers or wanting to score, the thirst of scoring, then you have a terrific player,” Rivers said.

The Sixers would ultimately still go on to earn the No. 3 seed in the East behind Harden and league MVP Joel Embiid. But after a first-round sweep of the Brooklyn Nets, Philadelphia failed to reach the conference finals yet again, losing in seven games to the Boston Celtics in the second round of the playoffs despite holding a 3-2 series lead.

Shortly after the playoff exit, Rivers was fired. Ultimately, it may be because of the championship-winning coach’s relationship with Harden down the stretch.

“We had our ups and downs from that point on,” Rivers said. “Our relationship, it was an honest one. It’s probably why I’m doing TV right now.”

Rivers will make his debut as part of the NBA on ESPN’s top broadcast crew alongside Mike Breen and Doris Burke on Wednesday night as the Celtics take on the New York Knicks

Meanwhile, Harden’s future is less clear. Perhaps he will be on the floor sometime soon with the Sixers once again, but his potential return will certainly not be without controversy.