James Harden was asked again Friday if his fractured relationship with the Philadelphia 76ers front office and general manager Daryl Morey could be repaired, and his answer was instant and emphatic.
“No,” he said.
Time doesn’t appear to have changed the stance of Harden, who in August told reporters he didn’t expect he could get past issues with Morey.
“This is in life,” he told reporters Friday. “When you lose trust in someone, it’s like a marriage. … I wanted to retire a Sixer. And the front office didn’t have that in their future plans.”
Harden has voiced his desire to be traded to the Los Angeles Clippers as the third star on the team, joining Kawhi Leonard and Paul George. The Sixers and Clippers haven’t made progress on a potential deal, though the Clippers’ front office has said “we are continuing to work with his representation to find the best solution for the 76ers and all parties.”
Harden, a six-time first-team All-NBA player acquired twice by Morey, has soured on his boss, made clear when he spoke in August at an Adidas event 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 then. “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, 34, already has been paid half of the $35.64 million due to him this year — a prepayment option many players choose to take — according to ESPN.
Despite his displeasure in Philadelphia, Harden reported to training camp but remains hopeful of a trade. He is scheduled to become a free agent after the season.
A 14-year veteran who has played for the Oklahoma City Thunder, Houston Rockets, Brooklyn Nets and 76ers, Harden has career averages of 24.7 points, 7.0 assists and 5.6 rebounds in 1,000 games (786 starts). He led the league in scoring three times, and last year, his 10.7 assists per game were the most in the NBA.
A 10-time All-Star, Harden was the league’s Most Valuable Player in the 2017-18 season.