James Harden took a brutal shot at Philadelphia 76ers team president Daryl Morey this week during an Adidas media event.
While overseas in China, the former league MVP stopped what he was doing to deliver a very blunt message to the Sixers’ front office.
James Harden on his China tour: “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.” 😳 pic.twitter.com/oaqVjXkax6
— Tomer Azarly (@TomerAzarly) August 14, 2023
“Daryl Morey is a liar and I will never be a part of an organization that he’s a part of,” Harden said.
“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.”
Harden’s statement comes mere days after Philly revealed that it would shut down all attempts to trade Harden this offseason and expected him to return to the team next year.
Earlier in the offseason, Harden agreed to pick up his $35.6 million player option in June after failed long-term contract negotiations with the Sixers. The expectation on all sides seemed to be that a trade was coming.
Philly made it publicly clear what the organization’s expected return was in any potential trade for Harden.
Ultimately, a deal with the Los Angeles Clippers was broached – but their refusal to include two role players in any prospective trade ensured that nothing would actually happen.
In recent days a dark horse suitor for Harden’s services also seemed to come out of the woodwork, though obviously no substantive offer was made if Morey went to the extent of pulling Harden off the trade market.
So why is Harden so mad right now? The real reason he is so angry at Morey and the Sixers was explained by ESPN NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski.
“Harden is unhappy with Sixers president Daryl Morey over the lack of a long-term maximum-level contract offer, sources said, and the team is risking Harden’s arrival at training camp bringing anything but a championship mindset,” he reported over the weekend.
“The Sixers agreed to search out a trade upon Harden’s request after he agreed to pick up his $35.6 million player option in June, but the Sixers’ asking price was steep and no teams, including the Clippers, were willing or able to meet it, sources said.
“Philadelphia believes it will be a championship contender with Harden’s return alongside MVP center Joel Embiid and the team is determined to find a way to make it work with Harden this season.”
What it boils down to for Harden is that he feels he was lied to. The expectation, on his side at least, was that a long-term contract was coming from Morey and the Sixers this summer. He played the role of the good soldier up to this point for that reason.
When that expected long-term deal didn’t materialize, the relationship was damaged beyond repair.
It will be interesting to see where this situation goes.
Kawhi Leonard has made his feelings on Harden joining the Clippers clear.
Wait Wander Franco’s 14-year-old has a kid? This story just keeps getting weirder. https://t.co/absnT4jB1Y
— Game 7 (@game7__) August 14, 2023
Is there a chance that those talks get restarted at some point between Philly and Los Angeles?
Time will tell.
At the moment, though – the relationship between Harden, Morey and the Sixers looks to be about as bad as any in the NBA.