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There’s been a lot of drama between James Harden and Philadelphia 76ers President Daryl Morey. And now the NBA is getting involved.
Harden publicly criticized Morey earlier this week in response to the Sixers ending trade talks involving the former NBA MVP.
“Daryl Morey is a liar. And I will never be a part of an organization that he’s a part of,” Harden said.
Now the NBA has launched a probe to find out if Harden is foretelling a holdout for the 2023-24 season, which would be a violation of the collective bargaining agreement.
According to ESPN, Harden said privately his comments were simply in regard to the ending of trade discussions. Should Philadelphia communicate that to league officials, neither Harden nor the team will face punishment.
James Harden and Daryl Morey have a history.
In October 2019, Morey, the GM of the Harden-led Houston Rockets at the time, shared a tweet ahead of the team’s trip to Japan. It read “Fight for freedom, stand with Hong Kong.” The tweet was in support of the pro-democracy protestors in Hong Kong who were fighting back against the Chinese government and an extradition bill.
The NBA, the Rockets and even LeBron James issued statements apologizing for Morey’s public support of democracy — continuing the league’s long-standing tradition of bending the knee to communist China.
Harden, too, immediately praised the NBA’s relationship with China after Morey’s tweet.
“We apologize, we love China,” he said at the time.
Harden — a 10-time All-Star and the 2018 NBA MVP — is still under contract with the 76ers. He hasn’t hidden his frustration with the franchise this offseason after taking a pay cut a year ago and feeling left in the dark. It’s been widely reported that he wants out of Philadelphia.
The Los Angeles Clippers are his top destination, but the 76ers are reportedly planning on keeping Harden to begin the season.
“I’ve been patient all summer,” Harden said. “For me, it’s just focus on what I can control and getting ready for this season.”