Report: NBA launches inquiry into 76ers, Harden after ‘liar’ comments

Sixers, James Harden
Philadelphia 76ers’ James Harden reacts to a foul called on him during the second half against the Brooklyn Nets in Game 3 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series Thursday, April 20, 2023, in New York. After review, he was given a flagrant foul two, and ejected from the game. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

The hits just keep on coming for the Philadelphia 76ers this offseason. A seemingly endless amount of drama has stemmed from James Harden’s opt-in and trade demand, captivating the NBA landscape. Since then, Harden has done nothing but be a purposeful thorn in the Sixers’ side as he aims to force his way off the team; regardless of any potential repercussions.

The latest chapter comes in the form of an official inquiry the NBA has launched into the Philadelphia 76ers and the ongoing situation with their point guard. According to ESPN Insiders Adrian Wojnarowski and Ramona Shelburne, the league has decided to get involved after Harden’s recent comments about the team’s president of basketball operations, Daryl Morey.

Sixers,james Harden, 76ers
FILE -Philadelphia 76ers guard James Harden (1) calls to teammates during the first half of Game 5 against the Boston Celtics in the NBA basketball Eastern Conference semifinals playoff series, Tuesday, May 9, 2023, in Boston. James Harden might have side-eyed questions, much like he did in a playful reaction to a question in his Houston days, about his future with the Philadelphia 76ers. Will Harden return to the 76ers for a third season? (AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File)
Harden speaks out about Morey

After a report stated the Sixers had ended trade talks for Harden last Saturday, The Athletic’s Shams Charania released video of Harden speaking at an event in China. To the entire audience, Harden stated not once, but twice, that “Daryl Morey is a liar.” Harden also stated he would never play for an organization that Morey is a part of. Less than a week later, the league office is now getting involved.

According to Woj and Shelburne, the league is attempting to understand if Harden was issuing a warning of a potential holdout, if he was referring to past negotiations with Morey, or possible violation in-between the two possibilities.

It’s also worth noting that Harden has apparently privately indicated that his “liar” comment was in response to Morey allegedly ending trade discussions that may very well have only allegedly began in the first place. Should that be the source of this outburst, Woj and Shelburne have indicated that there would not be any violation committed by the 76ers or Harden.

Sixers, PJ Tucker, James Harden
Philadelphia 76ers’ Daryl Morey listens to a question during a news conference at the NBA basketball team’s training facility, Wednesday, May 17, 2023, in Camden, N.J. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
The 76ers are in limbo

At this moment, the standstill continues as Harden’s trade demand, specifically to the Los Angeles Clippers, continues, while the Sixers have made it known that they will not simply give away last season’s assists leader. This does not appear to be ending any time soon.

“Maybe this world is another planet’s hell.”

– Aldous Huxley

(AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)