Speaking in China, James Harden Calls 76ers GM Daryl Morey “a Liar”

It's interesting timing as Morey is firmly on record as a Hong Kong supporter

James Harden and the 76ers are in an awkward position.
James Harden and the 76ers are in an awkward position.
Tang Yanjun/China News Service/VCG via Getty

Currently on a tour in China in support of his various business interests, former NBA MVP James Harden ripped into Philadelphia 76ers general manager Daryl Morey.

“Daryl Morey is a liar and I will never be a part of an organization that he’s a part of,” Harden said during an Adidas media event in China. “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.”

Harden’s remarks came on the heels of the 76ers reportedly shutting down trade talking involving the 10-time All-Star guard. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported on Saturday that Philadelphia plans to bring Harden back to training camp for the start of the season. Harden has expressed his unhappiness with the 76ers and picked up his $35.6 million player option in June in order to make it easier for the Sixers to trade him. He reportedly wants to be dealt to the Clippers, but Los Angeles has not met Philly’s asking price thus far.

Harden knows Morey well as he was the general manager in Houston when the 33-year-old was an MVP-caliber player for the Rockets. During that period, Morey caused a stir that cost the NBA millions of dollars in lost revenue when he posted a message of support to protestors in Hong Kong via his Twitter account. The 2019 message read “Fight for Freedom. Stand with Hong Kong,” and it was later deleted after Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta noted that Morey’s comment was not on behalf of the team.

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 The tweet, which led to the NBA being pulled off the airwaves in China, led Morey to fear for his safety and the safety of his family. “I was actually really, really worried about that,” Morey told ESPN in 2020. “Luckily I had [access to] different people who were assisting me with that and giving me advice on how to handle it. Hopefully, I’ve been able to get where we have some level of safety. But I was extremely concerned. You don’t want the second-most powerful government on Earth mad at you, if you can avoid it. In this case, I couldn’t.”

Given that Morey is firmly on record as a Hong Kong supporter, it’s fairly telling that Harden decided to rip into him while speaking in China, as he must have known his remarks would be well-received. It should make training camp, which is set to open in October, in Philadelphia very, very awkward unless a deal to move Harden is reached. If he does get dealt, Harden will be playing for his third team in three seasons after forcing his way out of Houston to get to Brooklyn and then pressuring the Nets to deal him to Philly.

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