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Despite the stormy conditions in Charleston, South Carolina, this week, the Philadelphia 76ers planned to continue their training camp away from home. 

On Thursday, the Sixers participated in their third training camp session of the offseason, and the NBA allowed cameras in the facility to catch a majority of the session so it could be live-streamed to the fans.

A lot went down at Sixers practice on Thursday, but no situation made more noise around the internet than Doc Rivers’ one-on-one conversation with the ten-time All-Star James Harden.

In a discussion that lasted nearly three minutes, Rivers didn’t hold back while talking with Harden, despite being mic’d up for the live stream. 

During the one-on-one, Rivers highlighted a few things to his star guard. One, the head coach wants the Sixers to get Joel Embiid the ball more on offense so he can establish himself as the No.1 scorer on the offense. No surprises there, considering Embiid finished the 2021-2022 season as the league’s scoring champion. 

Two, Rivers wants to see better chemistry build between Embiid and Harden, as they are the clear-cut top options on the Sixers’ offense. And the third point, which Rivers wanted to hammer down, was making sure that Harden knows he needs to be aggressive beyond just being the team’s facilitator.

“We gotta get you in what you want,” said Rivers. “ Like you can’t just say you’re a facilitator. I need you to be a scorer and a facilitator.”

When Harden left the Houston Rockets for the Brooklyn Nets via trade, he embraced taking a backseat to Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving when it came to scoring. While Harden still averaged over 20 points with the Nets, he averaged nearly 11 assists as well.

After getting traded to the Sixers, Harden continued to embrace the facilitator role in Philadelphia. Through 21 games with the 76ers, Harden averaged 21 points and ten assists. Many expected “Houston Harden” to return while playing alongside Joel Embiid, but the aggressive playmaker version of Harden left many wondering whether “Houston Harden” was finished for good or not.

Earlier this week, Harden continued to preach his selfless style of play.

“I’m one of the most unselfish players probably that this league has ever saw,” Harden said on SiriusXM NBA Radio. “You go into a situation in Brooklyn where you had KD and Kyrie to where they didn’t need me there to be a 30-point scorer. So, basically, a facilitator finding ways to impact the game. Being traded here last year, Joel should’ve won MVP, but he was playing extremely well. So, you can’t come here expecting to average 30 points. So, again, finding ways to impact the game.”

Harden might not be the top scoring option in Philadelphia as he was with Houston, but Rivers doesn’t seem sold on the idea that Harden can’t take over and dominate in the scoring department. Therefore, he wants the ten-time All-Star to turn his aggressiveness up a notch.

“That’s gonna take time figuring it out, but we need you to be the aggressive James that you were those last five minutes [of practice],” Rivers continued. “It’s gonna come. It’s gonna take a while, but when it clicks, James, we’re gonna be unbeatable. Unbeatable.”

Harden, Embiid, Rivers, and the rest of the Sixers stressed that 21 regular season games weren’t enough for the team to fully hit its stride last year. Now that Harden and Embiid get a full offseason and regular season to work together, Rivers is confident that there will be a point where the Sixers become unbeatable — and it will be on Embiid and Harden to figure out when that happens. 

Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for All76ers, a Sports Illustrated channel. You can follow him for live updates on Twitter: @JGrasso_.