US basketball

NBA examining James Harden’s absence – reports


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NBA examining James Harden’s absence – reports

SPLASH. Sixers guard James Harden reacts after knocking in a triple against the Nets during the playoffs.

Eric Hartline/USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

The new league rules require star players like James Harden to be available for nationally televised games

The NBA’s new player-participation regulations are being put to the test right from the start of the season, as the league is investigating James Harden’s absence from the Philadelphia 76ers’ opener on Thursday, October 26, in Milwaukee, multiple media outlets reported.

During the offseason, Harden requested a trade to the Los Angeles Clippers, but the sides have been unable to reach an agreement. 

As Harden feuded with the Philadelphia front office, he was in and out of the team’s preseason training camp, and then he didn’t make the trip to Milwaukee.

The new league rules require star players to be available for nationally televised games (the 76ers-Bucks contest aired on TNT) and for games in the inaugural In-Season Tournament.

“We are looking into the facts around James Harden’s availability tonight to determine whether an approved reason exists for his lack of participation,” league spokesperson Michael Bass said in a statement.

The team stated on its injury report that Harden was sidelined because of “return to competition reconditioning.”

The NBA can fine teams $100,000 for the first offense of the participation policy, barring “rare and unusual circumstances,” with penalties rising thereafter.

Harden, 34, was an All-Star for 14 consecutive seasons until the streak ended in the 2022-2023 campaign. He averaged 21 points, a league-high 10.7 assists and 6.1 rebounds in 58 games, all starts, for Philadelphia last season. –

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