September 30, 2023
James Harden is not backing down from his claims that Sixers President of Basketball Operations Daryl Morey lied to him.
A video posted on TikTok shows the disgruntled star partying at a lounge in Houston where a woman is holding up a sign that says, "Daryl Morey is a Liar."
This is not the first time Harden has called Morey a liar in public. When Harden was in China for an Adidas tour, he famously called Morey a liar and said he would never play for an organization that the executive worked for ever again.
Harden's public dismay came on the heels of the Sixers ending trade talks for the veteran, who opted into the last year of his contract expecting to be dealt to another team. ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski said that the team's decision to stop searching for a trade was "setting up an uncomfortable situation with the unhappy star."
Following the reports that the Sixers were going to keep Harden on the roster, Harden posted a cryptic Instagram story saying, "Been comfortable for so long. It's time to get uncomfortable."
Shortly after the video of Harden's tirade about Morey circulated, the NBA launched an investigation to find out what the executive lied about.
The league was trying to determine whether Harden's comments were the threat of a holdout, which would be a violation of its collective bargaining agreement or a reference to past contract discussions and a possible "handshake deal" that could be considered as salary cap circumvention. There were rumors that Harden and the Sixers would agree to a new deal after he took a $14 million pay cut in 2022 so that the team could sign PJ Tucker and Danuel House.
In August, the league fined Harden $100,000 for his comments, "indicating that he would not perform the services called for under his player contract unless traded to another team."
Morey has maintained all summer that he will only trade Harden if he gets a return that will keep the Sixers in title contention.
Sixers are holding media day on Monday on the eve of training camp for the upcoming season, and Harden is not expected to be there, the Inquirer's Keith Pompey said on SiriusXM NBA Radio this week.