The NBA has fined star James Harden $100,000 for indicating that he wouldn’t play for the Philadelphia 76ers unless his trade demands were met.
“The league’s investigation, which included an interview of Harden, confirmed that these comments referenced Harden’s belief that the 76ers would not accommodate his request to be traded,” the league said in a statement.
The National Basketball Players Association, however, will file a grievance against the league and its $100,000 fine, arguing that Harden’s comments weren’t in violation of the CBA.
“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,” the union said in a statement. “We intend to file a grievance and have the matter heard by our arbitrator.”
Harden said earlier this month at an Adidas marketing event in China that he’d never be a part of an organization that included Sixers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey. He also called Morey a “liar.” Those comments were a big factor in the fine, sources told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
Harden’s remarks came after Morey reportedly took the veteran off the trade market. The Sixers guard had requested a trade after opting into his $35.6-million player option at the onset of free agency.
The NBA apparently opened an investigation over Harden’s comments Saturday.
Morey and Harden have had a longstanding basketball relationship. The then-Houston Rockets executive acquired Harden from the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2012. The pair spent nine seasons together, reaching the Western Conference finals on two separate occasions. They reunited in Philadelphia in 2022 when Morey traded for the 10-time All-Star from the Brooklyn Nets.
Harden averaged 21 points per game last season, including a league-leading 10.7 assists.
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