The relationship between Philadelphia 76ers player James Harden and general manager Daryl Morey deteriorates before our very eyes.
During a trip to China on Monday, and in front of an audience taping their phones, Harden let it rip at Morey, calling him a “liar” and announcing he was done with The Sixers as long as Morey stayed there.
“Daryl Morey is a liar and I will never be a part of an organization he is a part of. Let me say it again: Daryl Morey is a liar and I will never be a part of an organization he is a part of.”
Harden said it twice, so you know he means it.
Harden is likely reacting to Adrian Wojnarowski’s report that the Sixers want him back for next season and will end trade talks. After Morey and the Sixers didn’t give Harden the long-term contract he was looking for early in the season, it was reported that both parties agreed in June that Harden would pick up a $35 million player option while the Sixers worked on a deal to acquire him. outside the city. Harden was reportedly focused on landing with the Los Angeles Clippers, but the trade never materialized.
Morey and Harden have a history that began before they reunited as the Sixers in 2022. They spent years together as a GM and player for the Houston Rockets, and were very close. So close, in fact, that when Morey left the Rockets in 2020, he ran a full-page ad in the newspaper that had a picture of Harden and Morey at the top, and featured this five-word sentence in bold: James Harden changed my life.
Harden is still turning Morey’s life around, but perhaps not in the way Morey would like. This situation isn’t already great for the Sixers, but it could get worse if Harden decides not to report to training camp. According to the collective bargaining agreement, if Harden decides to hold out through the first month of the season, he could lose his free agent status next season.
When or if this situation is resolved, the chances that anyone will be happy with the outcome are slim. Meanwhile, Sixers fans are wondering how the 2023-24 season hit rock bottom before it even started.