The Toronto Raptors and Philadelphia 76ers are constantly at each other’s proverbial throats, and the mutual animosity between the two teams could reach a genuine fever pitch this season. After former Raptors coach Nick Nurse became James Harden and Joel Embiid’s new coach, the intensity got pushed up to maximum.
Nurse has been thrown right into the middle of a severe chemistry issue, as Harden is engaged in a battle of wills with executive Daryl Morey. Harden has no intention of playing for the 76ers again, and he is willing to make things very messy to get his way.
Harden took things even further than his original “liar” comments, saying that his relationship with Morey has regressed to the point where it can’t possibly be saved. With no quality trade offers having materialized in recent weeks, Philly could be
The Raptors stand to be one of the main benefactors from Harden’s temper tantrums, as they can benefit from a weaker division rival that will also make life more challenging for Nurse in his first season away from Toronto. How will a coach famously known for his lack of tact handle everything in situations like this?
James Harden situation is good news for the Toronto Raptors.
In an Eastern Conference that is as deep as it has ever been, any minor disruption could be enough to take a team like the 76ers and completely mess up the team’s direction. Until Harden gets traded, which is less likely by the day, the 76ers will have this cloud hanging over their heads.
Toronto might be able to take advantage of that, especially with how many times they take on Philadelphia early in the season. While Tyrese Maxey has been a thorn in Toronto’s side for years, and Harden’s value is in the gutter, it’s clear to see Harden is still a very talented, valuable player.
Nurse is beyond reproach as a coach, as he can flash that championship ring in the face of anyone who calls him substandard. One area where some problems managed to arise, however, was his handling of the locker room. An abrasive coach dealing with either a holdout or a disgruntled star is a recipe for disaster.
In an Eastern Conference that could be a slugfest at the very top, Harden going out of his way to make Philadelphia a radioactive situation. If he doesn’t get his way, that could be all Toronto needs to spoil their fun.