Finally, the straw that broke the camel’s back: Daryl Morey vs. James Harden. The fact that Harden called Morey a “liar” at a promotional event in China was the exclamation point on a months-long death sentence. Harden doesn’t want to play for the Sixers ever again. Morey doesn’t want to trade him. Things are in a stalemate.
Neither side is ready to bury the hatched. Start engraving the tombstone.
The real issue started when Morey stopped taking Harden’s calls. The savvy front-office executive wasn’t ready to show his hand and, in all fairness, why would he? Harden had largely underperformed in the postseason — save for a pair of 40-point games versus Boston, plus a game-winning shot in Game 4 — so handing him a $210 million max deal wasn’t the best business move. Yes, Morey knew it. Unfortunately, Harden knew it too.
Instead, the future Hall of Famer decided to pick up his $35.6 million. He felt Morey was “ghosting him,” per ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne and took matters into his own hands. Once that happened, once he felt Morey had “wronged” him, it was over. The Berlin Wall went up.
"The Sixers were stunned at Harden’s decision, sources said, insisting to him and his representatives that they had been distant only because they were just hit with the largest tampering fine in NBA history and that they had every intention of re-signing him, as soon as the rules allowed. But Harden was already too far gone. “James takes things very personally,” another source close to Harden said. “When he feels like he’s been wronged, he can be very stubborn.”"
Harden’s decision shook the basketball world on June 30. There has been no movement since that date except for verbal jabs in the media. Nothing is resolved, with no immediate plans to resolve anything almost two months after the lines were drawn in the sand. Sixers majority owner Josh Harris called the situation “unfortunate” in what may be the understatement of the year.
A rigged slot machine is unfortunate; Harden’s absence from the Sixers’ starting five was preventable. Everyone failed.
“Daryl Morey is a liar and I will never be a part of an organization that he’s a part of,” Harden said of Morey in August. “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”.