Safe to say we won’t see James Harden in a Sixers uniform again.
Since submitting his trade request in July following unsuccessful negotiations for a long-term contract extension with the 76ers, James Harden has been eagerly anticipating the transformative call that would welcome him to the Los Angeles Clippers.
In his pursuit of a new chapter, Harden has elevated the intensity of his ongoing trade saga with the 76ers.
He recently took to a press tour in China to publicly express his discontent with GM Daryl Morey, escalating the already tense situation.
“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.” Harden said.
The narrative holds several intricate layers that demand careful consideration.
At its core, the situation involves a nuanced interaction. Notably, Daryl Morey, due to his stance advocating for Hong Kong’s independence from the Chinese Republic in 2019, finds himself in a position of disfavor within China.
This decision reverberated across the NBA landscape, notably putting NBA preseason games in a state of uncertainty.
His comments triggered a chorus of condemnation from various quarters, underscoring the polarizing nature of the issue.
Who Is Daryl Morey?
Daryl Morey, born on September 14, 1972, is an American basketball executive currently serving as the president of basketball operations for the Philadelphia 76ers in the NBA.
He is known for his analytical approach to the game, emphasizing three-pointers and lay-ups over mid-range shots, a strategy termed “Moreyball,” inspired by Michael Lewis’s Moneyball.
Morey also played a key role in founding the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference.
Notably, during his tenure as general manager of the Houston Rockets from 2007 to 2020, the team ranked second in total wins in the NBA, trailing only the San Antonio Spurs.
The acquisition of James Harden propelled the Rockets to the third-best record in the league during Harden’s time with the team, surpassed only by the Spurs and Golden State Warriors.
Morey’s accomplishments were recognized with the NBA Executive of the Year award for the 2017–18 season. In 2020, he left the Rockets to join the Philadelphia 76ers in his current role.
James Harden Feud With Daryl Morey: Why Did He Call Him Liar?
During the previous summer, Harden exhibited a display of commitment, opting for a substantial discount that allowed the 76ers to secure his re-signing.
This financial maneuver, in turn, paved the way for key signings like P.J. Tucker.
Harden’s stellar performance during the season, leading the league in assists, underscored his value.
Averaging 21.0 points, 6.1 rebounds, and 10.7 assists per game, he continued to be a driving force on the court.
However, the glow of this arrangement was overshadowed by a disappointing turn of events in the 2023 Playoffs.
The pivotal moment came when the 76ers, faced with the choice of extending Harden’s contract, refrained from doing so, citing substantial offers from rival teams.
Reports suggest that Harden’s decision to take a pay cut during the previous negotiation stemmed from an understanding that his subsequent contract would rectify the situation, a promise left unfulfilled by the team.
Consequently, Harden’s acceptance of his $36 million player option hinged on the expectation of a forthcoming trade to a team willing to extend his contract the following summer.
However, recent developments have taken an unexpected turn. The 76ers’ recent declaration that Harden will not be traded has likely triggered his forceful response.
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
A concerning trend emerges as this marks Harden’s third trade request in just two and a half years, casting shadows on the former league MVP’s trajectory.
This rapid shift from grace raises eyebrows. Even if the Clippers deal is finalized, the question lingers on whether Harden’s restlessness will dissipate or if he will persist in seeking trades whenever circumstances turn unfavorable.
Importantly, reports of Morey’s alleged deception toward Harden shed new light on this trade request, lending a clearer context to the situation.