Tyrese Maxey talks about the great summer of James Harden.



Tyrese Maxey #0 of the Philadelphia 76ers.

Stop Me If You’ve Heard This: A Philadelphia 76ers star posting awesome summer practice photos. AGH!

Okay, maybe the photos themselves aren’t hurtful, but the lack of follow through during the season by some (*ahem* Ben Simmons) was truly a stab in the back.

But it’s still summer. And the only guarantees for a Sixers fan’s summer are popsicles, top-rated rookies battling injuries throughout the season, and the mandatory practice photo/video.

This time, it’s James Harden’s turn to allay his fears about his health via social media.

Over the past two seasons, Harden has faced significant criticism regarding his lifestyle and fitness. This summer, however, Harden seems to be taking responsibility for his conditioning.

Harden: “I was busy working”

On August 26, Harden posted a series of photos straight from the lab. And either he went through a sprinkler just before taking the pictures or he had been at the gym for a while.

This isn’t the first time Harden has taken to social media to allay concerns about his fitness.

In May, Harden’s Coach Chuck Ellis posted an update featuring Harden on the pitch. In another tweet, Harden was described as “lean and trim” after a workout.

Head coach Doc Rivers, for his part, isn’t too concerned about Harden’s conditioning. If anything, he’s enthusiastic about it.

“[Harden’s offseason training has] been awesome,” Rivers explained on an episode of The VC show with Vince Carter. “He works – he works hard. I think about nine of the guys were in town last week, and they were training together every day. When you start seeing this stuff, it’s guys. It’s the players who get along. When you see that, it’s a good sign. He’s been training with our development guys, and they’re reporting he’s in great shape.

The Sixers will need Harden back ready to play like his old self. He should continue to be a major point guard for the Sixers next season, a position he is well equipped to fill. According to SIS Hoops, Harden was third in the league to create high-quality shots last season, with 25.4 per 100 possessions.

Tyrese Maxey reflects on Harden’s summer

Harden’s teammate Tyrese Maxey couldn’t help but discuss the former’s fitness goals.

During a Phillies-Reds game last week, legend and broadcaster Maxey and Phils John Kruk snapped at Maxey sharing seats with Harden and Joel Embiid.

maxey: You know, the seats are not bad. Sometimes I have to sit between Joel and James and uh, it’s the seats that are bad.

Kruk: Well, maybe not so much this year. James is in good shape.

maxey: Oh yeah right, exactly, exactly. Skinny James.

Oh, how great it will be for fans to show up at Wells Fargo wearing “Skinny James” t-shirts.

On the bright side, at least Harden seems to take his fitness seriously on and off the pitch. In a video starting on the former MVP’s birthday, he threw a huge cake overboard rather than swallow it.

These are all reassuring signs. But having been cheated countless times in the past, it’s only fair to have a healthy dose of caution.


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