The NBA is punishing James Harden with a $100,000 fine in connection to his recent controversial statement of calling Philadelphia 76ers president Daryl Morey a “liar”, sources told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
In the memo released by the NBA, Harden was also fined due to his public comments noting that he won’t play for a team which he has a player contract with.
In his Adidas China tour this mid-August, Harden notably ranted and also declared that he won’t participate in a team that has current ties with Morey.
“The NBA announced today that Philadelphia 76ers guard James Harden has been fined $100,000 by the NBA for public comments on August 14 and 17 indicating that he would not perform the services called for under his player contract unless traded to another team,” the league said in a statement.
“The league’s investigation, which included an interview of Harden, confirmed that these comments referenced Harden’s belief that the 76ers would not accommodate his request to be traded.”
Harden’s tirade against Morey came out days after the 76ers decided to pull him out of the market after failing to meet his trade request with the L.A. Clippers as his preferred destination.
Harden opted into his 2023-24 player option worth $35.6MM, but eventually filed his demand to get traded after being disgruntled by his speculated failed free agency wishes. His relationship with Morey reportedly collapsed, as their unrepairable partnership reached the apex up to this point that Harden called him out in front of the public.
According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, Harden told league investigators that he described Morey as a liar for not “quickly” shipping him out when he asked to get traded in June. Still, his follow-up remark of not wanting to play served as a main subject to consider for the NBA to ultimately fine the All-Star.
Amid the recent occurrences, there are still expectations that the 76ers will still retain the star guard who averaged 21.0 points and 10.7 assists last 2022-23 regular season. As such, Sixers owner Josh Harris revealed that he is trying his best to convince Harden to make a return at their side, but a potential trade remains at the table.