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Nick Nurse makes it clear on James Harden: ‘I’d be very happy if he came back’

New Sixers head coach Nick Nurse made it clear: he wants James Harden back with the team.

Boston Celtics v Philadelphia 76ers - Game Six Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images

The Philadelphia 76ers officially introduced Nick Nurse as their head coach Thursday afternoon, the 26th in franchise history. His first press conference as a member of the organization covered many topics such as his relationships with Daryl Morey and Joel Embiid, and his plan to get the team over the hump of the second round of the Eastern Conference playoffs.

Nurse was also asked several questions about James Harden and his impending free agency. When asked if he wanted the 10-time All-Star back, Nurse started by calling him a “great player” before eventually saying, “I’d be very happy if he came back.”

Nurse also revealed that he has already talked to Harden since taking the Sixers job, though he still plans to have more extensive 1-on-1 meetings with every player on the team before free agency. When asked how he’d sell Harden on returning, Nurse mentioned winning as being the primary pitch for the 33-year-old guard.

A follow-up pressed Nurse as to whether he took the job with any indication of whether Harden would be back or not, to which Nurse said that he took the job “because of these two guys, and their track record,” pointing to Morey and managing partner Joshua Harris. He added that he’ll get a deeper dive of what the team has on its hands over the summer, but it was his relationship with the front office that led him to this job.

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