A week after James Harden made headlines by calling Daryl Morey a “liar,” the 10-time All-Star was fined by the NBA.
Bleacher Report’s Chris Haynes was the first to report the news. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Harden is being fined $100,000 — which is a hefty amount relative to other player fines.
Philadelphia 76ers star James Harden is on the cusp of receiving a substantial fine by the league for comments directed towards team president Daryl Morey, league sources tell @NBAonTNT, @BleacherReport.— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) August 22, 2023
The NBA is fining Sixers star James Harden $100,000 for his recent comments referring to franchise president Daryl Morey as a “liar,” sources tell ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) August 22, 2023
This all comes on the heels of Harden deciding to opt into his contract instead of electing free agency and then promptly demanding a trade — with the Los Angeles Clippers reportedly being the only preferred destination. Harden reportedly was annoyed by the Sixers’ lack of communication ahead of free agency, which the team has said was to avoid tampering penalties.
During an appearance in Shanghai, China for Adidas last week, Harden gave the following quote when asked a question:
“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.”
Many speculated that Harden’s comments were about a possible wink-wink deal that he reached with Morey after taking a pay cut last summer. The Sixers have denied such claims and have now been twice investigated by the league. The investigation last summer found no wrongdoing, while the latest appears to be still ongoing — perhaps this fine is a result of the current investigation.
The NBA has officially assessed a $100,000 fine to James Harden for calling Sixers president Daryl Morey “a liar” … with the league ruling that Harden’s comments did constitute unauthorized public discussion of a trade demand. pic.twitter.com/QHZ3ZmYV0o— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) August 22, 2023
According to multiple reports, Harden’s “liar” comments were not based on any type of wink-wink deal and instead because of Morey not trading the former MVP in a timely fashion. Morey has made it clear from the onset that he’ll only make a deal that will keep the Sixers in contention. That deal has not come to fruition.
So, the stalemate trudges on. Harden will continue to attempt to make life hell for the Sixers. Morey, as we’ve seen with previous trade demands, won’t be afraid to get uncomfortable.