"It's Time To Get Uncomfortable" - James Harden Putting Out Cryptic IG Posts Means His Exit Strategy Is Officially Underway

Jesse D. Garrabrant. Getty Images.

Once James Harden demanded a trade, I think we all knew what was going to happen. Daryl Morey was going to be smart and not make a bad trade just to make one, especially considering how crucial it is that he brings back ample value for Harden to help maximize the prime window of his franchise player in Joel Emiid. 

After Embiid talked about how he hoped Harden would change his mind about a trade and then Harden immediately doubled down about how hell-bent he was about going to the Clippers, you knew this whole situation was going to start getting spicier. Yesterday we learned that Harden wouldn't sit out and pull a Ben Simmons, but would instead report to camp if only to bring more chaos to the situation. You know, by pulling the same shit he did as both a Rocket and Net. It worked then, Harden ultimately got what he wanted, so why not try it again?

Which brings us to today

Now I'm sure there will be some out there that suggest this has nothing to do with his trade demand. To me, that's wishful thinking. Whenever a player starts throwing around cryptic social media posts, especially one that is unhappy with their current team and has already demanded a trade, I'm not sure what else Harden is talking about here. 

He knows what this post is going to do. This is Stage 1 of his exit strategy. He's basically telling the entire Sixers organization to give him what he wants or shit is about to get real uncomfortable for everyone involved. Maybe that's showing up to camp extremely out of basketball shape. Maybe that's showing up and playing, but actively quitting while on the floor. Maybe it's a threat to leak some behind the scenes shit that went on between Harden and the front office these last two years. Remember that whole "wink wink" deal last summer when Harden took less? Maybe there are details surrounding that decision that we don't know and could be bad for the Sixers. 

I will say I am a little confused by his choice of quote here. Been comfortable for so long? The same guy that has been on 3 teams in 3 years has been comfortable? That seems odd. He's only been a Sixer for 525 days. If he's been so comfortable, why does he keep demanding trades? That seems like something a player would do if they are not currently comfortable with where they are, but what do I know?

Unfortunately for Harden, you know who loves being uncomfortable? This guy

Tim Nwachukwu. Getty Images.

This is something I'm not sure Harden understands. Daryl Morey just lived through the Ben Simmons saga, you don't think that was uncomfortable for everyone involved? A little professional discomfort isn't going to make Morey sweat, this is not his first rodeo. He talks literally all the time about how he's "comfortable being uncomfortable" which is why anyone who suggests that Harden's tweet isn't a direct shot at Morey and the Sixers is fooling themselves. 


It's also important to remember that if Harden tries to sit out and not play for more than 30 days after the season starts, because he's in the final year of his deal that would mean he violated his contract and the Sixers would be able to block him from entering free agency this upcoming summer. Zach Lowe broke it all down

but it's probably why Harden is most likely going to go with the be out of shape/quit in games approach as opposed to what we saw with Simmons. 

So yeah, I guess you could say this entire situation is about to be pretty uncomfortable for everyone involved.

Giphy Images.

And as a reminder, while Harden is quickly becoming the poster child for a move like this, he's certainly not alone. Kyrie, KD, Bradley Beal, Damian Lillard, the list goes on and on. This is simply life in the NBA in 2023 and considering the league just signed a new CBA, it's not like they can legislate against this sort of stuff anytime soon. 

So sit back, relax, and let the chaos ensue.