Philadelphia 76ers center-forward Joel Embiid has expressed his opinion on James Harden’s apparent absence from the team’s practice for the second consecutive day, stating ‘maybe he had something to do.’

Harden’s second no-show

James Harden was notably absent from the 76ers’ practice last Wednesday, and once more, Shams Charania of The Athletic reported that he didn’t attend practice due to a personal matter.

Embiid’s take

With the NBA season just around the corner, Harden missing practice has been all the rage on social media.

When asked about this issue, Embiid simply stated, “I don’t know..maybe he had something to do. I’m not sure, but we ought to go practice.”

Ever since his trade request to the Clippers fell through during the off-season, Harden has embarked on a self-deprecating spree. This prompted many fans to ask if this was his strategy in liberating himself from the 76ers’ grasp.

On media day, Embiid also weighed in on Harden’s situation, saying that he doesn’t see Harden’s trade request in the same light as Ben Simmons’ trade request two years ago.

“I think it’s a little different,” he said. “I think the last time this happened, there was a lot of stuff in the media, whether it was blaming me or others on the team. So I think at that time, I was a little defensive. But this time around, it just seems like maybe it was a misunderstanding between both sides,” Embiid said per NBC Sports.

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Coach Nick Nurse: A little bit surprised by Harden’s behavior

Coach Nick Nurse admitted that he was ‘a little bit’ taken aback by Harden’s absence when questioned by the media about it.

“Yeah, I mean listen I think I stay with ‘If [James Harden] is here, we go. If he’s not, we go’. We’ve got work to do,” Nurse said. “From the last discussions I’ve had with him, it was a little bit [of a surprise] that he didn’t show.”

When asked about whether he’s expecting Harden to show up at the Friday game against Atlanta, Nurse responded, “Yeah, I’m still going on what he said the last time I talked to him. We’ll see how it goes.”

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