NEW YORK (AP) — The NBA has fined Philadelphia 76ers guard James Harden $100,000 for public comments he made about his status with the team.
Harden made public comments on Aug. 14 and Aug. 17 saying he would not perform the services called for under his player contract unless he were traded to another team. The league talked to Harden as part of its investigation and confirmed that his comments referenced Harden’s belief that the 76ers would not grant his trade request.
Harden picked up his player option for next season in June, but the 76ers have not found a deal, prompting Harden’s anger. Among other things, he called 76ers president Daryl Morey a liar at a promotional event in China.
“Daryl Morey is a liar and I will never be a part of an organization 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 organization that he’s a part of.”
The National Basketball Players Association issued a statement supporting Harden.
“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.”
Harden has been one of the league’s top players for the past decade, having won three scoring titles and the 2018 league MVP award. He led the league in assists last season. But he hasn’t won an NBA title, and with him turning 34 this week, time is running out.
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