James Harden

Kyrie Irving Comes To James Harden's Defense: 'Is He Disgruntled?'

Home / Sports / Kyrie Irving Comes To James Harden's Defense: 'Is He Disgruntled?'

By Melanie VanDerveer on August 15, 2023 at 3:30 PM EDT

Philadelphia 76ers star James Harden wants a trade and has made that perfectly clear.

Shortly after the 76ers announced that they couldn't find a trade deal for Harden and trade talks were now officially off the table, Harden took an opportunity while in China on a promotional tour for Adidas to speak his mind about the organization's president of basketball operations. After receiving some online backlash for his comments, Harden's former Brooklyn Nets teammate, Kyrie Irving, came to his defense.

Article continues below advertisement

James Harden Called Daryl Morey A "Liar"

James Harden
Shamsnba - Instagram

In a recently shared video online, Harden is heard calling Morey a "liar" while at an event in China.

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

While many NBA fans were dropping negative comments about Harden and what he shared, one notable person came to his defense on Twitter.

When Adrian Wojnarowski shared a tweet captioned, "Disgruntled Harden calls 76ers prez Morey a 'liar' - via @ESPNApp," Irving commented, "Is he Disgruntled Adrian?? Or is he holding Darryl Morey accountable for his dishonesty and lack of transparency throughout the contract negotiation process this summer?"

Article continues below advertisement
Kyrie Irving on Twitter
Adrian Wojnarowski - Twitter
Article continues below advertisement

Many fans agreed with Irving.

One fan commented, "Kyrie backing Harden after their (alleged) fallout is not what I was expecting to see today!" and another said, "Kai doesn’t miss on or off the court." 

Article continues below advertisement
Article continues below advertisement

On Instagram, comments were a mixed bag of siding with Harden and talking negatively about the NBA star player.

"Business is business and if Morey did something by not honoring good business with him then I can understand his feelings," one follower wrote.

Another added, "Morey has been the same for years and Harden knew it. Carmelo Anthony said Morey lied. Chris Paul said Morey lied. Harden knew that and stayed with Houston and he knew that when he rejoined Morey in Philly. Thing is Morey's lying never impacted negatively on Harden before now so now Harden is aggrieved. Fine be aggrieved but don't claim like you you didn't know exactly what kind of beast Morey was when you joined Philly."

So Just What's Going On With James Harden And Daryl Morey?

James Harden

Shams Charania, senior lead NBA insider for The Athletic and Stadium, explained the situation in a recently shared video on Instagram.

"The bottom line here is that James Harden believes that Daryl Morey has betrayed him and my sense of the situation is that James Harden believes Daryl Morey has lied to him about whether that's taking care of him with a new deal in the off season after taking a $15 million pay cut last season or simply taking care of him in a new trade elsewhere, preferably to the Clippers," he said.

"And so when Harden opted into a $35.6 million contract before the start in free agency, it was with the understanding that both sides would work together on a trade elsewhere and he did so with the indication that the 76ers did not see a long-term future with him."

Article continues below advertisement

He continued to explain that the Sixers couldn't find a deal with the Clippers for Harden.

"And I'm told while the Sixers did try to find a deal with the Clippers, they did not find something that they liked. And so on one hand, Harden is clearly phased out of Philly, on the other hand the Sixers clearly believe they can't find a deal with the Clippers and so either way from competitive perspective, they're in a bind," he said. "And that leads me to the question of why couldn't they get a deal done, a new free agent deal done with Harden in free agency. And that's really what has led to all this."

Article continues below advertisement

One person took to the comments to remind fans, "Seems like people forgot Harden took a pay cut last year, so that they can build around Embiid." Another fan added, "They treated Ben Simmons the same way. Smh really bad organization."

Article continues below advertisement