(CNN) — Philadelphia 76ers star James Harden called his own team’s president Daryl Morey “a liar” in a surprising attack amid ongoing trade speculation surrounding the 2018 NBA Most Valuable Player.
“Daryl Morey is a liar and I will never be a part of an organization that he’s a part of,” Harden said during an event in China. “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.”
Footage of Harden’s comments has been widely circulated on social media. The comments were in response to a question from the crowd about ending trade talks, according to NBA.com.
CNN has reached out to the Sixers to offer the organization and Morey the opportunity to comment.
Harden has reportedly made it clear to the 76ers that he wants to be traded this offseason following another disappointing playoff exit last season.
According to multiple media reports, including from ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the 76ers have spent the majority of the offseason looking to facilitate the 33-year-old’s wishes.
Wojnarowski reported on Saturday that the team broke off trade talks and expected Harden to return to training camp.
Preseason games for the upcoming 2023/24 season begin on October 2.
“Harden has been emphatic in wanting a trade, so the Sixers are setting up an uncomfortable situation to start camp. Ultimately, Philadelphia wouldn’t make a trade that they believed would compromise their title hopes,” Wojnarowski posted on social media on Saturday.
Sixers president Morey was general manager of the Houston Rockets when the 10-time All Star played there.
Harden has previously pushed to be moved from his former teams: the Rockets and the Brooklyn Nets.
In 2021, he was traded to the Nets after saying the Rockets were “just not good enough” following an underwhelming playoff exit.
Just over a year later, he was traded to the 76ers from the Nets after rumors of his desire to leave Brooklyn had surfaced.
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