Clippers’ James Harden on mending fences with 76ers’ Daryl Morey: ‘Hell no’

James Harden returned to Wells Fargo Center on Wednesday night as the L.A. Clippers traveled to play the Philadelphia 76ers, who traded the star guard to L.A. in November.

While the Clippers pulled off a 108-107 victory on the road, it was Harden’s postgame comments that raised eyebrows.

When asked if he has stayed in touch with 76ers star and 2022-23 NBA MVP Joel Embiid since the trade, Harden curtly responded, “No.” Harden was also asked if it’s possible that he could eventually mend fences with 76ers president Daryl Morey, to which he responded, “Hell no.”

Harden requested a trade from the 76ers in June 2023, with a preference to play for the Clippers. The now-34-year-old Harden took issue with Morey not promptly moving him to his preferred destination after opting into the final season of a two-year deal he signed with the 76ers, publicly calling the executive a “liar” and saying that he’d “never” be part of an organization with Morey ever again. 

Morey acquired Harden twice, once when he was the general manager of the Houston Rockets in 2012 and then again with the 76ers in 2022. He was previously traded from Houston to the Brooklyn Nets in 2021.

Harden, a three-time scoring champion and seven-time All-NBA honoree, is averaging 17.1 points, 8.6 assists, 5.1 rebounds and 1.1 steals per game while shooting 43.9/39.5/88.1 for the Clippers.

The Clippers are 45-27, good for the fourth seed in the Western Conference, whereas the 76ers have slipped to 39-34 and eighth in the East. Philadelphia has been without Embiid for the past two months due to a knee injury, but it remains hopeful that he’ll return this season.

Harden is a free agent after this season.

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