James Harden, star of the Philadelphia 76ers, showed up Wednesday in Camden, N.J., for practice, much to the surprise of the team. He had been absent for the previous 10 days for personal matters, an excused absence.
Team executives approached Harden and told him it would be more beneficial for him to stay in Philadelphia to continue the recovery process, instead of going with the team on the two-game road trip, starting with the season opener against the Milwaukee Bucks on Thursday night, league sources told Bleacher Report.
Initially, the player interpreted staying home as a suggestion rather than an obligation, the sources said. Harden attended part of the session with the intention of joining the team on the flight to Milwaukee in the afternoon. After practice, Harden arrived at the airport to board the team’s flight, but was stopped by a security official who told him he was not authorized to accompany the team, sources said.
Philadelphia 76ers DG and coach Nick Nurse spoke with Harden to explain that the organization prefers him to follow their practice schedule.