Recently James Harden caused a bit of a firestorm when he publicly called Sixers’ President Daryl Morey a “liar” last week, while appearing in China. Many people eagerly filmed on their cellphones as Harden made the disparaging remarks and vowed to find a change of scenery. The incident quickly went viral when Shams Charania of The Athletic tweeted it.
That moment has apparently prompted the NBA to relaunch an investigation checking to see if there was anything said or done by the Sixers and Harden that may have violated the league’s CBA.
While Harden is not publicly suggesting the Sixers did anything against the rules, the league will do its due diligence on potential illegal negotiations anyway.
And they’ve also decided to fine Harden for his remarks.
According to Marc Stein, it was lobbied:”... with the league ruling that Harden’s comments did constitute unauthorized public discussion of a trade demand.”
As we’ve known for some time, Harden wants to join the Clippers. Even if the Sixers have had talks with other teams at this point, their point guard may only have eyes for his hometown in L.A. If he’s willing to discourage other teams from trading for him and his one-year expiring contract, it could prove a hinderance to even the Sixers’ best efforts to deal the almost-34-year old, routinely disgruntled, future Hall of Famer. Perhaps that’s at least part of why it seems only the Clippers have any interest in the reigning league assists leader at all.
Now we have a new report from ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, stating that “the NBPA will file a grievance to an arbitrator disputing NBA’s $100K fine on Philadelphia’s James Harden and league’s assertion that his recent statements violated collective bargaining agreement rules against public trade demands.”
The NBPA will file a grievance to an arbitrator disputing NBA’s $100K fine on Philadelphia’s James Harden and league’s assertion that his recent statements violated collective bargaining agreement rules against public trade demands. pic.twitter.com/jAHSU4REa7— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) August 22, 2023
Apparently some folks in the NBAPA are siding with the player here (shocker) and filing a grievance in hopes of getting the fine overturned or reduced. The age of player empowerment is alive and well. And it seems we’ll continue to learn more about how the league wants to handle these delicate, awkward situations under a brand new CBA moving forward.
As of now, we have two prominent stars with one-team-only trade request lists in Damian Lillard (Miami Heat) and James Harden (Los Angeles Clippers). The NBA recently fired a memo at Dame and his camp, now this just might be Adam Silver sending Harden a similar message. But rest assured, the NBPA is on the case.
(Rolls eyes at the whole thing).