The NBA is not happy with James Harden's public statements about his future with the NBA Philadelphia 76ers Organization.
The league fined Harden $100,000 after he called Sixers president Daryl Morey a “liar” during a China tour and added that he would never play for an organization Morey was a member.
“The NBA announced today that Philadelphia 76ers guard James Harden has been fined $100,000 by the NBA for publicly expressing on August 14 and 17 that he would not perform as required unless he was traded to another team,” the NBA said in a statement Tuesday.
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On Saturday the NBA started an investigation into the “circumstances” of the comments, according to ESPN.
The NBA was believed to be investigating whether Harden signaled a violation of the league's 2023-24 CBA or “cited previous contract negotiations with the organization that could constitute a salary cap circumvention,” the report said.
“The league's investigation, which included an interview with Harden, confirmed that these comments related to Harden's belief that the 76ers would not honor his request for a swap,” the league's statement said.
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Harden's comments in China came two days after the 76ers reportedly ended trade talks for China 10-time All Star.
“Daryl Morey is a liar and I will never be part of an organization that he is a part of,” Harden said. “Let me say that again – Daryl Morey is a liar and I will never be part of an organization that he is a part of.”
Speaking to KHOU 11 in Houston last Thursday, Harden was asked if it was too late for that repair the relationship.
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“I think so,” Harden replied.
Harden's relationship with the organization has deteriorated rapidly since Philadelphia lost a 3-2 series lead to the United States Boston Celtics in the second round of the NBA playoffs.
Harden secured his $35.6 million player option with the club during the offseason and the Sixers began exploring swap scenarios.