Known for laying his honest thoughts without filter, James Harden revealed in an interview last Friday that his relationship with 76ers executive Daryl Morey is irreparable.
He likened his relationship with Morey to a marriage, asserting that once trust is lost, the relationship is essentially over. At the team’s complex in New Jersey, Harden stated, “It’s not even about this situation. This is life. When you lose trust in someone, it’s like a marriage. When you lose trust in someone, you know what I mean? It’s pretty simple.”
James Harden speaks on losing his trust in Daryl Morey pic.twitter.com/hvx7J6RpQH
— NBA Dramatics (@NBADramatics) October 13, 2023
Harden: “Daryl Morey is a Liar”
Harden’s rocky relationship with 76ers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey came to light when he called Morey out as a liar during an Adidas event in China. Caught on camera, the video was promptly shared by Shams Charania of The Athletic on X, where it received 41.7 million views.
James Harden: “Daryl Morey is a liar and I will never be a part of an organization that he’s a part of. 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.”
James Harden: “Daryl Morey is a liar and I will never be a part of an organization that he’s a part of. 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.” pic.twitter.com/AmHJ0WwbF2
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) August 14, 2023
The 10-time All-Star guard initially asked the 76ers for a trade so that he could join the Clippers. However, in order for this to be possible, Morey asserted in an interview with The Fanatic’s Anthony Gargano in July that they would need to provide the 76ers with either a highly skilled player or a player that they could develop into a highly skilled player, as per NBC Sports Philadelphia.
The deal, though, never actually happened over the off-season. According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, the 76ers ended the trade negotiations in the middle of August and intended to have Harden return for training camp. Betrayed by the whole thing, Harden expressed his displeasure with the way the 76ers handled things, and that was when he made a public outburst at the Adidas marketing event in China.
In response to Harden’s comments about Morey on August 14 and 17, as well as when he said that he would only fulfill his player contract obligations if dealt to another team, the NBA announced on X that they have decided to fine Harden $100,000.
The following has been released by the NBA. pic.twitter.com/j3VZLxgXA5
— NBA Communications (@NBAPR) August 22, 2023
Part of the NBA’s statement reads, “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 at Training Camp
Despite remaining steadfast in his opposition to Morey, Harden arrived at training camp hungry to win the Larry O’Brien Trophy this season.
“I’ve got to make a decision for my family. This is a business. It’s as simple as that. I come in here today and work my butt off and do the things necessary as a professional as I would do and as I have been doing for 15 years,” as per ESPN.
The photo above is from a YouTube screengrab