There seems to be no light at the end of the tunnel that is the Philadelphia 76ers' James Harden trade saga. Harden and the Sixers remain at an impasse almost a month after the Beard notoriously called Daryl Morey, the team's president of basketball operations, a “liar”. But as much as Harden tries to paint himself as the victim of circumstance after he accepted his player option for the 2023-24 season, he hasn't helped matters at all when it comes to endearing himself to the franchise.

According to Ramona Shelburne of ESPN, Harden's proclivity for enjoying the nightlife created a bit of an awkward atmosphere in the Sixers locker room back in late February. The Beard, after a 101-99 loss to the Miami Heat at home, decided to fly away from the team to Miami in the lead-up to their rematch on March 1 at FTX Arena (now Kaseya Center). Harden did so because he wanted to “enjoy the nightlife”, but in doing so, he ruffled some feathers in the Sixers locker room.

Some of the Sixers players, per Shelburne, expressed their displeasure over James Harden's decision to leave the team and prioritize his pursuit of enjoyment outside the court after such a hard-fought loss to the Heat. The problem, however, didn't lie with this reported displeasure, but rather with head coach Doc Rivers' handling of the situation.

Rivers, in a team meeting days later, brought up the issue the Sixers players had with Harden while namedropping those who expressed their discontent. This then created an “uncomfortable” situation in the locker room, as it quickly became awkward for everyone to hear their head coach name names and put Harden to trial on the spot.

The problems keep on popping up for the Sixers, and there's seemingly no end in sight for these sorts of issues. The Sixers front office will have to face the music soon enough and accept that dealing away Harden, even for a return that doesn't match their expectations, might be helpful in fostering a locker room atmosphere that's more conducive to winning, especially with Doc Rivers now gone from the helm.