Nick Nurse officially introduced as Philadelphia 76ers’ new head coach, answers questions on James Harden’s future with the organization
The Philadelphia 76ers officially announced Nick Nurse as their new head coach yesterday down at their practice facility in Camden, New Jersey.
The number one issue for the 76ers this offseason was finding a replacement for Doc Rivers after he was fired following yet another second round playoff goal. That was accomplished by hiring Nick Nurse.
Now, we’re onto issue number two in deciding what to do with James Harden.
James Harden has been heavily rumored to be heading back to the Houston Rockets, opting out of his player contract with the Sixers in search of a new, 4-year contract.
Harden averaged 21 points and a league leading 10.7 assists per game during the regular season last year. In the playoffs, he averaged 20.3 points per game but as we all know, came up short when the Sixers needed him most in Game 6 and Game 7 against the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference Semifinals.
Nurse said he has talked to James Harden, but didn’t really provide many details in what was said.
“Listen, I think that–we didn’t get into that when we talked,” he said. “I am going to sit down, as I am with all of the guys. I am going to sit down with all of them 1-on-1, face-to-face here shortly, but listen I think that winning is always the sell.” via SixersWire
When asked by Howard Eskin if he wanted Harden to return to Philadelphia, here was his answer.
Nick Nurse on James Harden returning to the Philadelphia 76ers
“James Harden is a great player. I would say this…James has a decision to make and I’d be very happy if he came back.”
Nurse answered after Howard Eskin, being the smug dipshit that he is, interrupted Nurse during one answer and hammered home the “Do you want James Harden back?” question all while letting Nurse know that he didn’t initially answer the question.
I’m not going to address Eskin. I don’t like his reporting and or really, anything about him so from there, you could probably figure out how I felt about his line of questioning with Nick Nurse.
I will say, that Nick Nurse’s answer about James Harden didn’t really feel like he expected him to return to the Philadelphia 76ers next season.
I will say, that if James Harden wanted to come back to Philadelphia, he should have accepted the player option. Now, I’m concerned that Daryl Morey (who has a bizarre obsession with Harden) is going to offer him a 4-year max contract after Harden hits free agency, which I think we could all agree would be devastating for the not only the Sixers team but also to what remains of the fanbase.
I’m not an idiot. I am fully aware what James Harden brings to the basketball court. However, the fact that he was brought here to help Joel Embiid and the Philadelphia 76ers organization finally get over the second round playoff hump and instead, came up short when the Sixers needed him most, is why I can’t really get behind signing him to a long term contract.
James Harden is already 33-years old and giving him a 4-year contract seems like a bad business move. The Philadelphia 76ers need to rebuild around Joel Embiid and Tyrese Maxey under Nick Nurse and figure out how to keep this city interested in basketball. Harden, unfortunately, shouldn’t be a part of that plan moving forward.