NBA: Kyrie Irving Defends James Harden After Commenting about Morey

NBA: Kyrie Irving Defends James Harden After Commenting about Morey

Kyrie Irving of the Dallas Mavericks spoke out in support of James Harden, who is involved in a contract dispute with the Philadelphia 76ers.

Irving reacted angrily to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski’s description of Harden as a “disgruntled” star.

A video surfaced Monday in which Harden says that the Sixer’s president of basketball operations, Daryl Morey, is a “liar,” signaling a huge step forward in his hunt for a new team.

Is Harden’s Contract Dispute: 76ers, Morey, and Commitment Questions

In addition to claiming that Philadelphia had halted trade talks centered on the 2017-18 MVP, Wojnarowski reported Saturday that the veteran guard was “unhappy with [Morey] over the lack of a long-term maximum-level contract offer.”

Harden’s words lend validity to the notion that he and the 76ers had a handshake deal when he signed his two-year, $68.6 million contract last summer. The money he gave up would be repaid in full later on.

If Morey implied as much, Harden’s fury is reasonable. That argument, though, may be used against him.

The 33-year-old’s play on the court continued to deteriorate, he added another heartbreaking postseason flameout to his resume, and murmurs of a reunion with the Houston Rockets surfaced even before the season ended.

Morey may then claim that Harden failed to deliver on his promise of becoming a max-level player to whom the Sixers can commit long-term.

Blame on Both Sides: Sixers and Harden Contract Dispute

Both sides have some of the blame in this situation.

The Sixers should have anticipated the problems that would develop and how it would appear if they broke any existing agreement with Harden.

Meanwhile, Harden should’ve known what was coming when he opted into the second year of his contract with the 76ers. He could have been a free agent and joined any other team, although for a lot less money, he gave Morey complete control instead.

And for now, Harden’s latest attempt is having no effect. According to NBA insider Marc Stein, Philadelphia’s attitude remains intact in terms of its desire to part ways with the southpaw only if a compelling offer is made.

In response to Irving’s criticism, Harden exemplifies the textbook definition of “disgruntled.”

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