James Harden calls Daryl Morey a liar: What went wrong with 76ers

James Harden (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)
James Harden (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images) /

76ers star James Harden ripped into Philly president Daryl Morey in the latest installment of Harden’s contentious contract saga.

Philadelphia 76ers star James Harden just stooped down to a whole new level amid a tense and fractured offseason with his team.

According to ESPN’s Wojnarowski, the 76ers officially ended trade talks concerning Harden this past weekend and plans to bring him back to training camp, ending a summer-long squabble over Harden’s shaky future with the team.

After a disappointing past season, Harden wanted the 76ers to table a max-level extension or trade him. Neither of those things happened this offseason, causing the 10-time All-Star to publicly vent his frustrations yet again.

Harden seems to have reached the final straw in his relationship with the 76ers and ripped into Philly’s president of basketball operations Daryl Morey during a promotional event in China. He called Morey a liar and vowed that he would never be a part of an organization with him again.

Why is Harden calling Morey a liar, out of all things? Most likely because Harden thinks Morey misled him into believing he would receive a generous multi-year deal in Philly.

James Harden rumors: 76ers star takes down president

Harden’s relationship with 76ers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey has reportedly been severed for a month now after Harden voiced his displeasure with how Philly handled his potential free agent status this offseason.

When Harden picked up his $35.6 million player option in June and requested a trade, Philly appeared willing to accommodate Harden’s demands. But Morey and the franchise quickly showed they would not be bullied by Harden, who eyed the Clippers as a potential landing spot; when no teams bit at Harden’s steep asking price, the 76ers shut down trade negotiations.

That brings us to the present day. Harden clearly believes Morey has done something irredeemable in his eyes — like, say, promising him a lucrative long-term contract but not following through with it — and refuses to work with him ever again.

Harden and Morey’s relationship traces back to 2012 when Morey traded for Harden in Houston. Eight years later, Morey would grant Harden’s wish to leave and traded him to his desired destination in Brooklyn. Not long after, Morey and Harden reunited in Philly with nothing but hope and good vibes on the horizon.

In the summer of 2023, Harden’s relationship with Morey turned ugly, morphing into a contentious hostage situation with disgruntled diva James Harden standing front and center with crossed arms. Harden, age 33, is looking for a long-term maximum-level contract offer. Morey, knowing Harden’s age and performance level, isn’t conceding to his demands this time.

Harden’s claim that he’ll never play for Morey again presumes the star won’t show up for 76ers training camp this summer. This falls in line with The Athletic’s sources that have said Harden “has no plans of taking part in camp“.

However, Harden used his last card in insulting his team’s president and appears to hold the losing hand against Morey, who by contrast holds Harden’s contract rights should Harden continue to refuse to report to camp.

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