James Harden appears to have dodged Philly media in first game against Sixers

Following James Harden facing his former team for the first time since demanding a trade and forcing his way out of town, the star guard appears to have dodged the media.

Philadelphia 76ers v Los Angeles Clippers
Philadelphia 76ers v Los Angeles Clippers / Kevork Djansezian/GettyImages

For the first time since forcing his way out of town in what was a long standstill that spilled into the regular season and being traded to the Los Angeles Clippers, James Harden faced off against the Philadelphia 76ers on Sunday, and it’s evident that there is no love lost between the two sides.

Following Philly’s 121-107 victory over the Clippers at Crypto.com Arena, Harden appears to have dodged the media, per Gina Mizell of the Philadelphia Inquirer.

James Harden appears to skip out on media following Philly reunion

Mizell notes that Harden reportedly left the locker room “before Ty Lue even began his postgame press conference” when it was yet to be open for the media to enter.

Harden scored 12 points (5-of-13 shooting), adding 14 assists, four rebounds, one steal, and a block in 34 minutes of action on Sunday, but it wasn’t enough to help the Clippers pull out the win.

While Harden didn’t address the media after the game, his former teammate, Tobias Harris, spoke glowingly of him.

“James [Harden] is a hell of a player, and I always have a huge amount of respect for him,” Harris said. “It’s all love and respect. He’s a Hall of Famer player, and for me it was an honor being here playing with him,” he added.

There’s no denying that Harden’s tenure in Philly was short-lived and capped off with a tumultuous ending to the saga that was the feud between the 10-time All-Star and 76ers president of basketball operations, Daryl Morey. But the former sacrificed a lot to make the pairing with reigning MVP Joel Embiid one of the most dynamic duos in the NBA.

It wasn’t all bad during Harden’s time in Philadelphia. He averaged 21.0 points, 10.6 assists, 6.4 rebounds, and 1.2 steals per game while making 37 percent of his three-point attempts, playing a critical role in the 76ers reaching the Eastern Conference Semifinals in each of his two seasons with the franchise.

Harden slipping out of the locker room before the media could come in suggests there is still bad blood between him and the 76ers. However, the two teams meet again on Wed., Mar. 27, at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, where the veteran guard will struggle to escape the spotlight.