It is a tumultuous pre-season for Philadelphia guard James Harden and the NBA franchise. In an official statement, the basketball league announced that the Philadelphia 76ers player will be fined $100,000 USD for his public comments made on August 14 and 17 regarding his trade. Harden indicated that he would “not perform the services called for under his player contract unless traded to another team.” After the league’s investigation, the NBA confirmed that he did make these comments, which referenced Harden’s belief that the Sixers would not accommodate his trade request.
Earlier this week, the players’ union, National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) issued another statement disagreeing with the ruling, “We respectfully disagree with the league’s decision to discipline James Harden for recent comments he made, which we believe do not violate the rule against public trade demands. We intend to file a grievance and have the matter heard by our Arbitrator.”
On August 14, Harden spoke to a crowd at an event in China. In a video obtained by Shams Charania, Harden seemingly calls out the Sixers management, “Daryl Morey is a liar, and I will never be 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 part of an organization that he’s a part of.” Earlier this June, Harden willingly opted in to his $35.6 million USD player option for the 2023-24 season with the Sixers. The investigation confirmed that Harden’s comment in calling Morey a liar was in reference to him “telling Harden he will trade him quickly following the $35.6 million opt-in for the 2023-24 season.” With Harden believing he was only opting in to be traded, it appears to be a tale of misunderstanding. It remains to be seen which team Harden will play for in the upcoming season.
James Harden: “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/AmHJ0WwbF2
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) August 14, 2023
Here is the language from the CBA.
The rule is new and $100K is the maximum allowed.
The maximum player fine that may be imposed for (1) conduct or statements prejudicial or detrimental to the best interests of basketball, the NBA, or a team, or (2) violations of the tampering… https://t.co/8ox1pXSRZg
— Bobby Marks (@BobbyMarks42) August 22, 2023
In other sports news, Harry Kane recently signed a life-long football boot deal with Skechers.