James Harden fined USD 100,000 by NBA over public trade demands

The NBA has fined James Harden $100,000 after he threatened not to represent the Philadelphia 76ers next season. Harden had even called the 76ers president Daryl Morey a “liar” during an interaction earlier this month. Harden’s displeasure was a result of the 76ers’ inability to trade the 2018 NBA Most Valuable Player (MVP) this off-season. The NBA’s decision to fine Harden comes just days after the league launched an inquiry into the guard’s tussle with the 76ers.

James Harden #1 of the Philadelphia 76ers dribbles against the Boston Celtics during the third quarter in game six of the Eastern Conference Semifinals(AFP)

The NBA has announced that Harden was fined for “public comments on August 14 and 17 indicating that he would not perform the services called for under his player contract unless traded to another team.”

“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 statement added.

The decision, however, did not go down well with the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA). The NBPA has reportedly decided to file a grievance challenging the NBA’s move to fine James Harden. “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. We intend to file a grievance and have the matter heard by our Arbitrator,” the NBPA said in its statement.

At an event in China earlier this month, James Harden had slammed Philadelphia 76ers president Daryl Morey for not trading him this off-season. “Daryl Morey is a liar and I will never be a part of an organization that he’s a part of. 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 said.

With three scoring titles and the 2018 league MVP award to his name, James Harden has been one of the most consistent performers in the NBA in the last couple of years. Despite his brilliance on court, Harden has not yet been able to claim an NBA championship. He did lead the league, in terms of assists, last season but it was not enough to end the 76ers’ long wait for an NBA title. The 76ers suffered a defeat in the playoff stage against the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference Semi Finals last time. The 76ers will feature in their first pre-season game against the Boston Celtics on October 8.

One of the most prolific shooters in the NBA, James Harden had expressed his desire to be traded away from Philadelphia this off-season. The 33-year-old had opted for a $68.6 million deal with the 76ers in 2022.

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