‘Bank Shot’: James Harden Fined $100K For Calling The Sixers Owner ‘A Liar’
James Harden has been in a public spat with Daryl Morey, the owner of the Philadelphia 76ers, throughout the summer. Now, following critical comments made by the superstar player, the NBA has fined Harden $100,000.
On Aug. 14, during a press conference in China, the 10-time All-Star guard made it clear that he does not plan to play if the Sixers fail to honor his request for a trade. “Daryl Morey is a liar, and I will never be a 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 a part of an organization that he’s a part of.” According to Yahoo Sports, the 33-year-old’s comments stem from a conversation between Morey and Harden in which the latter picked up his $35.6 million player option, and the former agreed to work on trading him to another team. However, it seems Morey has not honored his end of the bargain.
For the NBA, it is not Harden’s critique of the Sixers owner that earned him the fine but rather his promise not to play—which puts him in breach of his player contract.
After a conversation with the 2017–2018 season MVP, the NBA determined that “he would not perform the services called for under his player contract unless traded to another team.” According to the Washington Post, Harden’s ideal scenario involved him being traded to the Los Angeles Clippers; however, when a sensible deal failed to materialize in the Sixers’ favor, Morey ceased all conversation regarding the matter. The team’s owner was focused on finding “a very good player or something that we can turn into a very good player” to replace their star guard. Morey and Harden had harmoniously worked together before this current stint in Philadelphia: once when the former was the Houston Rockets general manager and again when the latter agreed to leave the Brooklyn Nets to come to play for the Sixers.