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NBA fines James Harden $100K for comments about 76ers president

UPI
Philadelphia 76ers guard James Harden requested a trade this off-season, but remains under contract. File Photo by Aaron Josefczyk/UPI

Aug. 22 (UPI) -- The NBA fined James Harden $100,000 after the veteran guard called Philadelphia 76ers president Daryl Morey a liar and said he wouldn't play for any team that employs the executive, the league announced.

The NBA specified that the fine was a response to comments Harden made Aug. 14 and 17, "indicating that he would not perform the services called for under his player contract unless traded to another team."

The NBA interviewed Harden as part of an investigation and determined his comments referenced his "belief" that the 76ers would not accommodate his trade request.

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Harden decided to opt in to his $35.6 million player option for 2023-24 with the 76ers in June, with the expectation that he would be traded.

He made initial public comments, voicing his discontent with the situation and Morey, to an audience at an Adidas event Aug. 14 in China.

"Daryl Morey is a liar, and I will never be a part of an organization that he's a part of," Harden said. "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."

Three days later, Harden told a KHOU 11 reporter that he thought it was too late to repair his relationship with Morey.

The 76ers will face the Boston Celtics in their first preseason game Oct. 8 in Boston. They will host the Milwaukee Bucks in their first regular-season game Oct. 26 in Milwaukee.