NBA

James Harden calls Philadelphia 76ers team president Daryl Morey a liar, says he will never play for any organization he's associated with

By Sports Desk August 14, 2023

James Harden sure didn't mince his words when speaking about Philadelphia 76ers team president Daryl Morey.

In a video that went viral Monday, Harden blasted Morey at a promotional event in China.

"Daryl Morey is a liar and I will never be a part of an organisation that he’s a part of," Harden said at the event. "Let me say that again: Daryl Morey is a liar and I will never be a part of an organisation that he’s a part of."

Harden's comments were a response to the 76ers telling Harden's agent, Mike Silverman, that Morey was unable to find a trade for the 10-time All-Star and the franchise wouldn't deal him unless it could find a trade that would help the team contend for a championship. 

Harden picked up his $35.6million player option for the 2023-24 season in late June, and then immediately requested a trade.

The 2017-18 NBA MVP could have declined the option and become a free agent, but was hoping by exercising his option it would facilitate a trade.

There were reportedly some discussions with the Los Angeles Clippers and New York Knicks, but those trade talks stalled.

Acquired in a trade with the Brooklyn Nets in February 2022, Harden re-signed with the 76ers last summer on a two-year, $68.6million contract that included the opt-out clause, taking less money in order to remain with one of the Eastern Conference's top contenders.

Harden, who turns 34 later this month, was a solid complement to NBA MVP Joel Embiid, averaging 21.0 points and a league-leading 10.7 assists in the regular season to help the 76ers to the third-best record in the Eastern Conference.

In the playoffs, however, he was maddeningly inconsistent.

He had a pair of 40-point performances but averaged just 15.1 points on 30.0 per cent shooting with 8.4 assists in his other nine games, and Philadelphia was knocked out in the conference semifinals for a second straight year after losing to the rival Boston Celtics in seven games.

Philadelphia fired head coach Doc Rivers following the playoff exit and replaced him with former Toronto Raptors coach Nick Nurse.

The 76ers had no comment on Monday, and Harden seems unlikely to attend training camp, which begins in October.

For his career, Harden has averaged 24.7 points, 5.6 rebounds, seven assists and 1.5 steals in exactly 1,000 regular-season games.

If his playing days with the 76ers are done and he is traded, Harden would be joining his fourth team in four seasons.

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