The Philadelphia Flyers have unveiled new home and road uniforms for the 2023-24 season, both of which feature a burnt orange color. It marks the first time since 2010 that the organization has altered their uniforms in any capacity.
The new jerseys will also feature the franchise’s first jersey path partner.
“This New Era of Orange is all about honoring our franchise’s storied past while writing an exciting, new chapter of Flyers history,” Flyers CEO and Governor Daniel J. Hilferty said in a statement. “These new uniforms represent that sentiment perfectly with details to honor previous eras paired with a fresh, modern design. And there’s no better company than Independence Blue Cross to be our first jersey patch partner! It is an organization that has meant so much to me personally and the entire Philadelphia region.”
Burnt Orange is back. https://t.co/GVr6Ajt1f2 pic.twitter.com/HHFHpFbmam
— Philadelphia Flyers (@NHLFlyers) June 20, 2023 The team worked with Flyers season ticket holders, former players and broadcasters throughout the process of selecting these new uniforms.
The Flyers combined some past elements into these new uniforms to “form a modern adaptation” of the team’s storied history.
The home jersey will feature a burnt orange color, a throwback to the Flyers teams of the 1980s and 1990s. A similar jersey was worn in the late 1990s when players like Eric Lindros, John LeClair and Mikael Renberg formed the Flyers’ “Legion of Doom” line. The burnt orange is featured on the arm and shoulder, as well as on the large player numbers for the team’s away jerseys. The team will also sport burnt orange socks. The bold striping along the shoulder and down the arms have been a key element in Flyers uniforms of the past. The numbers on the sleeve are a single-color design, which was a characteristic of the original 1967-70 uniforms. It’s the first time in several decades that Philadelphia will have single-color numbers. The Flyers also have a black horizontal stripe at the bottom of the their jerseys with black pants, which was first introduced in 1982. These new jerseys have a name-plate design that differs in color from the rest of the jersey. The Flyers are the league’s only team that have a different color name-plate than their jersey. The new uniforms are the latest in several changes that the franchise has made since the 2022-23 season came to a close.
The team hired former player Danny Briere as the team’s general manager after he served in that post in an interim capacity after former general manager Chuck Fletcher was fired in March. The Flyers also hired Keith Jones as the team’s new president as well adding former Flyers Patrick Sharp and LeClair to positions in the front office.
Shortly after becoming the permanent general manager, Briere made his first big splash as he traded defenseman Ivan Provorov to the Columbus Blue Jackets for a haul that included a 2023 first-round pick.
Starting in the 2023-24 season, NHL teams will no longer wear specialty jerseys during warmups for themed nights. NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman announced the decision following the league’s Board of Governors meeting.
This decision from the NHL comes after a season that was filled with how various Pride nights were handled across the league. Some individual players refused to wear the warmup jerseys, and several teams chose not to wear an LGBTQ-themed warmup jersey at all.
Immediately following the meeting, Bettman spoke with Sportsnet about the decision. Bettman said the debate about the jerseys became more of a “distraction.” He also suggested that nixing the jerseys would put more focus onto the nights themselves.
“Actually, I’ve suggested that it would be appropriate for clubs not to change their jerseys in warmups because it’s become a distraction and taking away from the fact that all our clubs, in some form or another, host nights in honor of various groups or causes,” Bettman said. “We’d rather those continue to get the appropriate attention that they deserve and not be a distraction.”
Bettman acknowledged the jerseys can make fans the LGBTQ community feel more included and that the NHL made this decision during Pride month but re-emphasized his opinion that the jerseys had become a distraction.
“Those are legitimate concerns, but in the final analysis, all of the efforts and emphasis on these important various causes have been undermined by the distraction in terms of which teams and which players (are wearing them),” Bettman said. “This way, we can keep it focused on the game. On these specialty nights, we’re going to be focused on the cause.”
Bettman said that Pride nights — and all specialty nights — are here to stay in the NHL. The only change will be that players no longer wear themed jerseys in warmups.
“Absolutely, 32 of our clubs did Pride nights. Some do Heritage nights,” Bettman said. “Everyone does Hockey Fights Cancer. Some do military nights. All of those nights will continue. The only issue will be — or the only difference will be — we aren’t going to change jerseys for warmups because really that has become more of a distraction from the essence of what the purposes of these nights are.”
The discussion around NHL Pride nights began when then-Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Ivan Provorov chose not to wear the team’s warmup jersey for religious reasons. Throughout the rest of the season, Eric Staal, Marc Staal, and James Reimer sat out Pride Night warmups for the same reason.
Several NHL teams chose not to wear special warmup jerseys at all because of new Russian anti-gay laws that may have put players from that country in jeopardy if they promoted pro-LGBTQ causes. Teams like the Pittsburgh Penguins, Nashville Predators, and San Jose Sharks chose to go ahead with Pride Night warmup jerseys despite having Russian players in the lineup.
Edmonton Oilers star Connor McDavid won the Hart Trophy as the league’s MVP during the NHL Awards ceremony on Monday. McDavid edged out the likes of Boston Bruins star David Pastrnak and Florida Panthers star Matthew Tkachuk to win the award.
It marks the third time (2016-17 & 2020-21) that McDavid has won the Hart Trophy in his eight-year NHL career. It’s also the third time in four seasons in which an Oilers player has earned MVP honors. Leon Draisaitl won the Hart Trophy during the 2019-20 campaign while McDavid captured the league MVP in the 2020-21 season.
McDavid racked up a career-high 153 points (64 goals & 89 assists) during the 2022-23 season. The Oilers star produced the highest point total since former Pittsburgh Penguins legend Mario Lemieux had 161 points in 1995-96.
The Oilers forward led the league in points, goals and assists while ranking second in power-play goals (21) only behind Draisaitl. McDavid had never produced more than 123 points in a single season, which he racked up during the 2021-22 campaign.
After just eight NHL seasons, McDavid already has the fifth-most points (850) in franchise history behind only Wayne Gretzky (1,669), Jari Kurri (1,043), Mark Messier (1,034), and Glenn Anderson (906). McDavid could likely pass Messier for the third spot on the Oilers’ all-time points list next season.
McDavid wasn’t the only player to take home some hardware on Monday evening. Here are the rest of the NHL Award winners:
Vezina Trophy: Linus Ullmark (Boston Bruins) The Boston Bruins had the best regular season in NHL history as they amassed 135 points. Goaltender Linus Ullmark was a big reason why and received some validation when he won the Vezina Trophy as the NHL’s top goaltender.
Ullmark topped Connor Hellebuyck of the Winnipeg Jets and Ilya Sorokin of the New York Islanders to win the prestigious award.
Ullmark became the fifth goaltender in Bruins history to win the Vezina Trophy and the first since 2014 when Tuukka Rask earned the honor. Pete Peeters became the first Bruins goaltender to win the award in 1983 while Tim Thomas earned the honor in both 2009 and 2011.
Ullmark had a phenomenal regular season as he tied the Bruins’ single-season wins record (40) while also posting a league-leading 1.89 goals-against-average and .938 save percentage in 49 games (48 starts). The 29-year-old also had a pair of shutouts throughout the year as he helped lead the Bruins to an NHL record 135 points alongside fellow goaltender Jeremy Swayman.
Norris Trophy: Erik Karlsson (San Jose Sharks) Erik Karlsson became just the second player in San Jose Sharks history to win the Norris Trophy as the league’s top defenseman. Karlsson won the award over Adam Fox of the New York Rangers and Cale Makar of the Colorado Avalanche.
Karlsson joins Brent Burns (2016-17) as the only two players in Sharks history to win the Norris Trophy.
Karlsson became the first defenseman to top the 100-point mark in a season since former Rangers blue-liner Brian Leetch reached that plateau with 102 points during the 1991-92 campaign. The Sharks defenseman finished the 2022-23 season with 101 points (25 goals & 76 assists) in 82 games.
In addition, Karlsson’s 76 assists were tied for third in the league behind only Connor McDavid (89) and Tampa Bay Lightning star Nikita Kucherov (83). He accomplished that while playing for a Sharks team that earned the fourth-fewest points (60) in the NHL.
Calder Trophy: Matty Beniers (Seattle Kraken) Matty Beniers has become the first player in Seattle Kraken history to earn some major hardware. Beniers won the Calder Trophy as the NHL’s top rookie on Monday as he earned the honor over Buffalo Sabres defenseman and former University of Michigan teammate Owen Power and Edmonton Oilers goaltender Stuart Skinner.
Beniers finished the regular season with 57 points (24 goals & 33 assists), which was fourth on the team. The 2021 No. 2 pick led all NHL rookies in the point department as he edged out Arizona Coyotes forward Mason Matias Maccelli (49) and Anaheim Ducks forward Mason MacTavish (43) for the league lead.
Selke Trophy: Patrice Bergeron (Boston Bruins) For the second consecutive season, Boston Bruins center Patrice Bergeron has won the Selke Trophy as the league’s top defensive forward. Bergeron beat out New Jersey Devils forward Nico Hischier and Toronto Maple Leafs forward Mitch Marner for the honor.
It marks the sixth career Selke Trophy for Bergeron, who has spent all 19 seasons of his career as a member of the Bruins. Bergeron also won the award three times over four seasons, spanning from 2012 to 2015. The 37-year-old blocked 54 shots while forcing 38 turnovers in 78 games this season.
Jack Adams Award: Jim Montgomery (Boston Bruins) Sensing a pattern here? The Bruins had a historic season, which means that they won the majority of the regular-season awards at the league’s ceremony.
Considering that the team racked up an NHL record 135 points, Bruins head coach Jim Montgomery took home the Jack Adams Award as the league’s top head coach. Montgomery topped the likes of Dave Hakstol of the Seattle Kraken and Lindy Ruff of the New Jersey Devils. This marked Montgomery’s third season as an NHL head coach and his first with the Bruins.
Ted Lindsay Award: Connor McDavid (Edmonton Oilers) Connor McDavid won his second award of the night as he took home the Ted Lindsay Award. McDavid beat out San Jose Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson and Boston Bruins winger David Pastrnak to earn the honor.
The Ted Lindsay Award is handed out to the NHL’s most outstanding player as voted on by his peers. This marks the fourth time that the Oilers star has won the Ted Lindsay Award during his professional career. McDavid shattered his previous career-high in goals (64) after never having more than 44 in a single season.
Lady Byng Trophy: Anze Kopitar (Los Angeles Kings) Los Angeles Kings forward Anze Kopitar won the Lady Byng Trophy for displaying the best sportsmanship in the league. Kopitar edged out New Jersey Devils star Jack Hughes and Tampa Bay Lightning star Brayden Point to win the award as he earned 77 first-place votes.
The award is given to the player that was “adjudged to have exhibited the best type of sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with a high standard of playing ability.”
It’s the second time that Kopitar has taken home the Lady Byng Trophy as he won the award following the 2015-16 season. Kopitar is coming off of a season in which he registered a team-high 74 points (28 goals & 46 assists) in his 17th NHL season. He led his team in scoring for the 15th time in his career, which is the third-most in NHL history behind only Wayne Gretzky (19 times) and Gordie Howe (17 times).
Bill Masterton Trophy: Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Kris Letang won the Bill Masterton Trophy as he edged Arizona Coyotes star Clayton Keller and Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Alex Stalock. The award is given to the player that “best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey.”
During the 2022-23 season, Letang suffered the second stroke of his NHL career in November 2022, but returned to the ice just 12 days later. The veteran defenseman also lost his father, Claude Fouquet, and Letang was forced to be away from the team in order to mourn the horrific loss. Letang became the first Penguins player to win the Bill Masterton Trophy since Mario Lemieux won the award in 1993 following being diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma that season.
The Chicago Blackhawks have the No. 1 overall pick in the 2023 NHL Draft, and as such, the Connor Bedard hype train has reached terminal velocity ahead of Wednesday night.
It may seem like too much buzz for a 17-year-old stud who has yet to play an NHL shift, but Bedard really does have the pre-draft resume to justify it.
Few of the top NHL Draft prospects over the last decade have received as much attention as Bedard — and that list includes Nathan MacKinnon, Connor McDavid and Auston Matthews. It’s because Bedard completely dominated his draft year, both in the Western Hockey League and at the World Junior Championship.
In his time with the WHL’s Regina Pats, Bedard posted some eye-popping numbers, especially for his age.
2021-22: Bedard became the first 16 year old to score 50 goals in a single WHL season. 2022-23: Bedard tallied 143 points (71 goals and 72 assists), which led the WHL by 36 points. 2023 playoffs: Bedard notched 10 goals and 10 assists in seven playoff games. In addition to those numbers in junior hockey, Bedard has two World Junior Championship gold medals. He was a superstar at the 2023 tournament.
2022: Bedard scored four goals and added four assists in Canada’s gold-medal run. 2023: Bedard set a Canadian record with 23 points and was named tournament MVP. Even before 2023, Bedard cemented his place atop the 2023 NHL Draft board. He compares quite favorably to some of the most highly-touted No. 1 overall picks in recent memory. To prove it, let’s look at how Bedard stacks up with MacKinnon, McDavid and Matthews.
Nathan MacKinnon, 2013 draft class In the 2013 NHL Draft, MacKinnon was the top pick, selected ahead of players like Aleksander Barkov and Seth Jones.
Entering that draft, MacKinnon was highly regarded as a franchise player after a fantastic career with the Halifax Mooseheads of the QMJHL. Even at the age of 16, MacKinnon put up gaudy numbers in Halifax.
2011-12: MacKinnon totaled 31 goals and 47 assists in 58 games as a 16-year-old. 2012-13: MacKinnon scored 32 goals and tallied 75 points in just 44 games. MacKinnon’s junior hockey career was good enough to make him the best prospect in the 2013 draft, but he wasn’t able to find as much success as Bedard in the World Junior Championships. MacKinnon earned a spot on Team Canada in 2013, but he tallied just one assist in six games as the team stumbled to a fourth-place finish.
Connor McDavid, 2015 draft class McDavid was the definition of a generational prospect. He had the size, speed, production and intangibles necessary to succeed at the NHL level, and he has delivered on the goods (he still hasn’t won a Stanley Cup, though) in eight seasons with the Edmonton Oilers.
Even at an early age, McDavid had the makings of a potential NHL superstar. He was only 15 years old when he began his career with the OHL’s Erie Otters, but didn’t look out of place at all.
2012-13: McDavid scored 25 goals and 66 points in 63 games in his first junior hockey season. 2013-14: McDavid displayed his elite passing ability with 71 assists and 99 points in 56 games. 2014-15: McDavid took his goal-scoring to another level with 44 tallies in 47 games while posting 120 points. 2015 OHL playoffs: In just 20 playoff games, McDavid recorded 21 goals and 28 assists. McDavid was already a superstar before the draft because of the way he torched the OHL, but he also played well in two World Junior tournaments. He played in the 2014 tournament at 16 and helped lead Canada to a gold medal in 2015.
2014: McDavid scored one goal and added three assists while Canada finished fourth. 2015: McDavid was tied for the tournament lead in points (11) as Canada won gold. Between his physical tools and his production in the OHL and World Junior Championship, there wasn’t any doubt that McDavid was an incredibly rare prospect. The fact that Bedard has the statistics and the accolades to match McDavid only makes him more tantalizing to NHL scouts.
Auston Matthews, 2016 draft class Matthews’ pre-draft path to the NHL was a less traditional than others, but it was still clear that he was an elite prospect.
In his final season on the U.S. National U-18 Team, Matthews led the team in scoring by 10 points, and that roster included players like Matthew Tkachuk and Jack Roslovic. In his draft year, Matthews went to play for Zurich SC of the Swiss-A League and held his own against professionals in Europe.
2014-15: Matthews led the U.S. national team in goals (20), assists (28) and points (48). 2015-16: Matthews led Zurich SC in goals (24), which was tied for fourth in the league — despite missing 14 games. Matthews’ goal-scoring ability also translated to the World Junior Championship. He had a relatively quiet tournament as an 18 year old in 2015, but he bounced back in 2016.
2015: Matthews scored one goal and notched two assists as Team USA failed to medal. 2016: Matthews tallied seven goals and 11 points in seven games; USA won bronze. Matthews was a big center who could score goals at an impressive clip, and that has translated very well at the NHL level. Bedard doesn’t have Matthews’ size, but he has shown a similar penchant for filling the net.
The verdict No matter how you slice it, Bedard is in rare air in terms of his pre-draft resume. Even those best prospects of the last 10 years above struggle to compete when it comes to Bedard’s achievements in junior hockey and on the international stage.
In a recent poll of five NHL scouts and executives conducted by The Athletic, Bedard was ranked as the second-best No. 1 prospect of the last decade, dating back to 2014. Only McDavid ranked ahead of Bedard, due to the Oilers star’s larger size and unmatched speed.
That doesn’t mean Bedard will be just as good or better than McDavid, Matthews and MacKinnon. Physical traits like size and speed can’t be overlooked when projecting a prospects NHL career, and no two prospects develop at the same rate.
That said, it’s easy to look at what Bedard has done to this point in his career and imagine him as one of the top five players in the league sooner rather than later.
The most recent update to the 2023-24 CBS Sports Preseason Top 25 And 1 came more than a month ago, when Kentucky secured a commitment from West Virginia transfer Tre Mitchell and moved up to No. 17 in those rankings. Since then, things have been slow in the sport of college basketball. But the Wildcats received another commitment from another frontcourt piece on Tuesday that necessitates another update to the Top 25 And 1.
His name is Zvonimir Ivisic. He’s a 7-foot-2 center from Croatia. His addition has John Calipari’s program up to No. 16 in Version 20.0 of the Top 25 And 1.
“I got the [scholarship] offer … from Coach Calipari to attend the University of Kentucky,” Ivisic posted on social media. “I’m excited to [announce] that I [have] accepted the scholarship, and [that] I will play [at UK] next season. Go Big Blue!”
Ivisic just had a string of impressive performances at the FIBA U20 European Championship last month, averaging 11.4 points, 5.3 rebounds and 3.4 blocks while shooting 34% from 3-point range. Exactly how the soon-to-be-20-year-old will translate to the high-major level remains unclear. But the worst case scenario has Ivisic adding depth to a roster that needs it, especially considering Kentucky bigs Aaron Bradshaw and Ugonna Onyenso are both currently injured.
Kentucky is one of five SEC schools in Version 20.0 of the Top 25 And 1. The others are No. 11 Arkansas, No. 14 Tennessee, No. 15 Texas A&M and No. 25 Mississippi State. The only other league with at least five schools in the Top 25 And 1 is the Big East with No. 6 Marquette, No. 8 UConn, No. 9 Creighton, No. 24 Villanova and No. 26. St. John’s.
James Harden’s tour across China continues, and after calling Philadelphia 76ers president Daryl Morey a liar earlier this week, the former league MVP is now flirting with the idea of playing in China at some point. It’s unclear if he meant actually signing with a team in China to play a season, or if he would be interested in the NBA hosting a game in the country like the league has done in the past. But it’s clear that he has a fondness for the fans in the country.
“Every time I come here, the love is just like … it’s crazy, you know what I mean?” Harden said, per the Philadelphia Inquirer. “So I feel like they deserve to actually see me come play here. … Love is always crazy here.”
Those comments come just a few days after the former league MVP publicly called Morey a liar and said he would never play for a team ran by Morey, amidst a contract and trade dispute. Harden requested a trade back in June, with the hope of landing on the Clippers. However, after on-and-off trade talks over the past couple months, it was reported last week that Philadelphia was ending those discussions with L.A. and planned to bring Harden into training camp.
Harden is reportedly prepared to sit out training camp if he isn’t traded, however, sitting out for an extended period of time could impede with him signing with a new team next summer when he’s set to become an unrestricted free agent. There’s a clause in the league’s collective bargaining agreement that says if a player in the final year of their contract “withholds services” for more than 30 days, they will be in violation of their contract and could be blocked from becoming a free agent until the team he last played for “expressly agrees otherwise.” So even if Harden did want to go play in China next year, he would need the Sixers approval if he holds out for more than 30 days and isn’t traded by the team this season.
But let’s say Harden did manage to get himself over to China, there’s no doubt he would put up ridiculous numbers as many former NBA players have in the past. He would be the biggest former NBA star to ever go play overseas, and would immediately become the face of any team he signed with. The money is nowhere near as lucrative, as the Chinese Basketball Association, the biggest league in China, allows just $5 million to be spent on foreign players. It would be a significant pay cut for Harden, who is set to make $35.6 million this season alone. But if Harden chooses to play there closer to the end of his career, perhaps that money won’t matter as much as it does right now.
The NBA finally released its schedule for the 2023-24 season on Thursday, which means we can finally take a look at some of the key games on the calendar for No. 1 overall pick Victor Wembanyama. The French phenom who was taken first overall by the San Antonio Spurs in the June draft will make his NBA debut on Oct. 25 at home against Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks. It’s a real “trial by fire” moment for the rookie right off the bat, and it should be an exciting matchup on both sides.
As one of the most heralded prospects in recent memory, each of Wembanyama’s games is going to draw tons of attention both at home and on the road. But there are five key matchups worth circling on the calendar that will be must-see television when it happens. Here’s five of the most intriguing games for Wembanyama and the Spurs for the upcoming season.
NBA debut: Mavericks at Spurs — Oct. 25 It’s his first game, it’s nationally televised and it’s against the last highly touted international prospect in Doncic. This is going to be an entertaining one, and all eyes are going to be on Wemby to see how he performs in his first real test. Wembanyama shouldn’t have too difficult of a time putting points on the board given Dallas’ lack of size to contend with the 7-3 behemoth. But his defense will certainly be put to the test in the paint as Doncic and Kyrie Irving will surely try to see how solid of a rim protector he is.
First matchup vs. Chet Holmgren: Spurs at Thunder — Nov. 14 We’ve got a double unicorn sighting in this matchup. Holmgren and Wembanyama could end up being a rivalry talked about years from now as both are over 7-feet and possess the grace and skill of much smaller guards. They’ve been compared to each other before, and my CBS Sports colleague Colin Ward-Henninger wrote about how Wemby overshadowed Holmgren in Summer League just due to the sheer spectacle that was Wemby-mania this offseason. But on Nov. 14 we’ll get to see these two unique players face off for the first of what could be many matchups in what could be long careers for the both of them.
Wembanyama vs. LeBron: Lakers at Spurs — Dec. 13 This is the first of two games in three nights against the Lakers in mid-December. But the first one will be the more talked about matchup as Wemby will make his debut against LeBron James, Anthony Davis and the Lakers. James has had high praise for Wembanyama in the past, saying last season: “Everybody’s been a unicorn over the last few years, “but [Wembanyama] is more like an alien.” Well LeBron will get to face off against that alien in December, and Wembanyama will have a tough test with Anthony Davis likely tasked with slowing down he No. 1 overall pick.
Wembanyama vs. Scoot Henderson: Spurs at Blazers — Dec. 28 Prior to being drafted No. 1 overall, Wembanyama had this to say about Henderson: “He’s really a great player. If I was never born, I think he would deserve the first spot.” That’s kind of like a compliment, right? Henderson figures to be an electric guard, and depending on if the Blazers ever get the Damian Lillard trade request sorted out, he’ll be the face of Portland’s team for the foreseeable future. Henderson also already made the bold claim that he will be Rookie of the Year this season, despite many already tabbing Wembanyama for that award. There’s countless storylines about this matchup, and luckily we’re getting it early on the calendar so we won’t have to wait too long to see these two face off.
No. 1 vs No. 2: Hornets at Spurs — Jan. 12 Unlike previous draft years where there was some debate about who should go No. 1 overall, Wembanyama was the clear cut choice. Instead, there was more debate about who the Hornets should take between Miller and Henderson. Charlotte opted for Miler and so we’ll get to see the top two draft picks face off in mid-January. Miller didn’t have a great Summer League showing, so hopefully by the time this game rolls around he’ll find his rhythm in Charlotte.
James Harden has stirred up some drama between himself and the Philadelphia 76ers. Harden’s former Houston Rockets head coach, Kevin McHale, is not exactly shocked that the relationship has begun to sour.
After a big contract extension with the 76ers didn’t materialize, Harden picked up his player option for a one-year, $35.6 million deal with Philly but quickly requested a trade. Harden reportedly wanted to be dealt to the Los Angeles Clippers, but that trade has not come to fruition, and the 76ers star has now called general manager Daryl Morey a “liar.”
These are not sunny times in Philadelphia. McHale, a Boston Celtics legend, coached Harden for seasons in Houston and spoke with Heavy Sports about the bitter situation.
McHale said he feels for Morey because sometimes general managers are caught between the player and ownership in these stand-offs. McHale said he suspects Morey may have wanted to work on a long-term extension for Harden, but that might not have been 100% his call.
“James wanted a big extension from Philly, and Philly wouldn’t give it to him, and that’s not a Daryl decision,” McHale said. “Daryl’s got a part of that, of course, but that’s an owner decision. So (Harden) was really mad, saying Daryl lied to him, but, you know, maybe they saw Game 7 against the Celtics and said, ‘I’m not interested in that.’
“I think Daryl would have probably tried to extend him and keep everything happy. But as far as trading him goes, you know, Daryl gets stubborn. It’s going to be interesting.”
Harden’s postseason struggles have apparently led to internal strife before. McHale said that after the 2015 NBA playoffs, when he benched Harden in Game 6 of the Western Conference semifinals, the guard showed up to next year’s camp “fat and didn’t feel like playing.”
At this point, it seems like Harden has sufficiently burned bridges with the 76ers. During an event in China, Harden slammed Morey publicly.
“Daryl Morey is a liar, and I will never be part of an organization that he’s a part of,” Harden said. “Let me say that again: Daryl Morey is a liar and I will never be part of an organization that he’s a part of.”
Now, the 76ers have lost some leverage in trade talks, and Morey might not be inclined to give Harden away for pennies on the dollar. When former 76ers guard Ben Simmons wanted to be traded, Morey took his time, and Simmons even sat out games at the start of the 2021-22 season before he was finally sent to the Brooklyn Nets.
The full schedule for the 2023-24 NBA regular season was released on Thursday afternoon. Or, almost the full schedule. Due to the in-season tournament, only 80 of 82 games have been set for each team. The remaining two games will be determined by how they fare in the new event and will be announced in December. Everything else, though, is locked in. We have the schedule for opening night, Christmas Day and the in-season tournament, as well as key dates throughout the season.
Regular-season action will begin on Oct. 24 and conclude on April 14, with the All-Star break set for Feb. 16-18. As for the in-season tournament, it will run from Nov. 3-Dec. 9.
More early notes on the schedule:
Opening night is set for Oct. 24 and will feature the defending champion Denver Nuggets against the Los Angeles Lakers, and the Phoenix Suns versus the Golden State Warriors. No Eastern Conference teams will be in action. No. 1 overall pick Victor Wembanyama will make his NBA debut on Oct. 25 when the San Antonio Spurs host the Dallas Mavericks. LeBron James and Kevin Durant will play against each other for the first time since 2018 on Oct. 26 when Phoenix visits Los Angeles (That 2018 game was a Christmas Day matchup between the Lakers and Warriors. James injured his groin in the third quarter.) On the same night, Joel Embiid and the Sixers will visit Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks. Miami will visit Boston in a rematch of the last two Eastern Conference finals on Oct. 27. The first matchup between the Los Angeles Clippers and Lakers will take place on Nov. 1. The Heat will visit the Nuggets in a rematch of the 2023 NBA Finals on Feb. 29. Opening night The champs will get their rings before a rematch of the 2023 Western Conference finals, in which Denver swept the Lakers and left James and Anthony Davis agreeing that the Nuggets were probably the best team they had played against in their four years together. As well as being Chris Paul’s first meeting with Phoenix since it traded him to Golden State, the Suns-Warriors game will be Durant’s first at Chase Center with fans in attendance. The arena opened after Durant left Golden State, and he has been injured for all of his visits since, except for a game on Feb. 13, 2021, in which no tickets were sold because of pandemic restrictions. Christmas Day This will be the first time since 2008 that the Lakers and Celtics face off on Christmas. This will also be the Warriors’ 11th consecutive year playing on Christmas and James’ 17th consecutive year playing on Christmas. Last year, James became the first player in NBA history to appear in 17 total Christmas games. Here’s the full Christmas Day slate:
Milwaukee at New York, 12 p.m. ET Golden State at Denver, 2:30 p.m. ET Boston at Los Angeles, 5 p.m. ET Philadelphia at Miami, 8 p.m. ET Dallas at Phoenix, 10:30 p.m. ET In-season tournament The first in-season tournament will begin on Nov. 3 with the first of seven tournament nights. The group stage will continue on Nov. 10, Nov. 14, Nov. 17, Nov. 21, Nov. 24, and Nov. 28 (i.e. every Tuesday and Friday that month, with the exception of Nov. 7, which is Election Day.) The schedule includes Mavs-Nuggets, Lakers-Suns, Heat-Knicks, Bucks-Heat, Warriors-Kings and more. Six group winners and two wild cards will advance to the knockout stage — the quarterfinals will be played on Dec. 4 and Dec. 5, with the higher seed having home-court advantage, and the four winners will advance to Las Vegas, where the semifinals will be played on Dec. 7 and the championship game will be played on Dec. 9.