Houston Rockets guard James Harden has been slapped with a $100,000 fine by the NBA for his comments indicating his refusal to play for the Philadelphia 76ers while Daryl Morey held the position of president.
Harden, 33, publicly criticized Morey, branding him a “liar” during an interview, following reports that the 76ers had abandoned trade discussions involving him.
The NBA imposed the fine on Harden for making statements that implied he wouldn’t fulfill his contractual obligations unless he was traded to another team.
The National Basketball Players Association responded by stating their disagreement with the league’s decision, asserting that they perceive the comments not to be in violation of rules against public trade demands. They intend to file a grievance to have the matter arbitrated.
The issue revolves around remarks Harden made on 14 and 17 August, wherein he essentially threatened a strike by refusing to play for the 76ers due to their refusal to trade him.
The NBA’s investigation confirmed that Harden’s comments were rooted in his belief that the 76ers wouldn’t honor his request for a trade.
Harden’s critical remarks about Morey were voiced during a promotional event in China on 14 August, where he labeled Morey a liar and expressed his unwillingness to be part of any organization involving him.
Harden later expounded on the matter in media interviews, accusing Morey of backtracking on a promise to expedite his trade earlier in the off-season.
Talks between the 76ers and the LA Clippers reportedly fell apart due to demands set by Harden’s current team, who anticipate his return for training camp in September.
Harden, the NBA’s 2018 Most Valuable Player (MVP) during his time with the Houston Rockets, moved to Philadelphia as a part of a trade deal in which Ben Simmons joined the Brooklyn Nets.
Teaming up with reigning NBA MVP Joel Embiid, Harden contributed to the 76ers’ journey to last season’s Eastern Conference semi-finals, which they lost to arch-rivals Boston Celtics after squandering a 3-2 lead in the series.
The upcoming NBA regular season is set to commence on 24 October, with the 76ers scheduled to play their first pre-season game against the Celtics on 8 October.Email your news TIPS to Editor@kahawatungu.com or WhatsApp +254707482874