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#pounditThursday, April 25, 2024

Joel Embiid shades James Harden over practice absence

Joel Embiid with a straight face

Apr 16, 2022; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid (21) before game one of the first round for the 2022 NBA playoffs against the Toronto Raptors at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

James Harden was absent from Philadelphia 76ers practice on Wednesday, apparently without an explanation, and it did not go unnoticed with Joel Embiid.

Embiid was asked about Harden’s unexpected absence after practice on Wednesday, and there seemed to be a little bit of shade involved. The star center talked about the importance of him leading by example, while suggesting that Harden must have had something important going on.

“I think probably had something important to do or something came up. But, you know, guys know what it is,” Embiid said of Harden.

The real reason might be that Harden is trying to exert some more pressure on the 76ers in order to force a trade. He had previously taken part in practices, though he has yet to play in any of the team’s preseason games.

Harden maintains he will play if he is not traded before the start of the season, but that his relationship with the team is irreparable. Obviously, this is not the kind of drama Embiid has any interest in dealing with, and he is making that clear.

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