April 24, 2024

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The NBA fines Harden $100,000 for hinting at skipping 76ers games.

James Harden received a $100,000 fine from the NBA for expressing his refusal to play for the Philadelphia 76ers under the leadership of president Daryl Morey. The guard labelled Morey dishonest in an interview following reports that trade negotiations involving him had broken down. Harden, aged 33, had a strong desire to join the LA Clippers, but the talks hit a snag. The NBA imposed the fine due to Harden’s assertion that he wouldn’t fulfil his contractual obligations unless traded to a different team.

The National Basketball Players Association countered the decision, respectfully disagreeing with the league’s ruling and claiming that Harden’s comments didn’t violate the rule against public trade demands. The fine pertains to Harden’s statements made on August 14 and 17, where he essentially threatened to boycott playing for the 76ers unless they traded him due to their refusal to accommodate his trade request.

The NBA clarified that their investigation, including an interview with Harden, confirmed that his remarks stemmed from his belief that the 76ers wouldn’t comply with his trade request. The controversial comments about Morey were made by Harden during a promotional event in China on August 14. He asserted, “Daryl Morey is a liar, and I will never be a part of an organisation that he’s a part of.” Harden subsequently explained in media interviews that Morey had reneged on a promise to quickly trade him earlier in the off-season.

Reports indicate that negotiations between the 76ers and the Clippers broke down due to the demands set by Harden’s current team. The team expects him to return for training camp in September. Harden, who was named the NBA’s Most Valuable Player in 2018 while playing for the Houston Rockets, moved to the 76ers in a trade involving Ben Simmons. Harden, along with reigning NBA MVP Joel Embiid, led the 76ers to the Eastern Conference semi-finals last season, where they ultimately lost to the Boston Celtics after squandering a 3-2 lead in the series.

The regular NBA season is set to commence on October 24, with the 76ers scheduled to play against the Celtics in their first pre-season game on October 8.