Editor’s note: Pagan has chosen to just completely ignore the Sixers moratorium and write about Harden drama. He’s been reported to HR and we’re going over punishment options as we speak. 

James Harden was fined $100k after calling Daryl Morey a liar in China:

Or 1/3 of the amount he made in five seconds selling $30 bottles of wine in China:

According to Woj at ESPN.com, the NBA felt like Harden violated the rule “concerning public trade demands” in two separate incidents:

Harden’s comments that he would never be part of an organization that included Morey played a bigger part in the fine, sources told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. It touched on the league’s rules concerning public trade demands.

At a publicity stop for his line of Adidas basketball shoes Aug. 14 in China, Harden called Morey a “liar” and said he would “never be a part of an organization that he’s a part of.”

On Aug. 17, Harden replied to a KHOU 11 television reporter in Houston, “I think so,” when asked whether his relationship with the Sixers was “beyond repair.”

So the NBA last week opens a phony investigation against the Sixers regarding potentially circumventing the cap and it ends with lightening Harden’s pockets. Great chess move there, James. Someone in his circle needs to get to Harden and shake some sense into him. Listen man, none of the 29 other teams are willing to give up meaningful assets for you. This isn’t 2018 anymore. Even with a solid year last season. So you either gotta start playing ball or take the easy way out and show up to camp pushing 250 lbs because you’re not going to beat Daryl Morey. I know you’re crazy if you try to defend Daryl right now, but there’s a reason he’s undefeated when it comes to getting assets for disgruntled players. He won the Ben Simmons trade and I believe he’ll win the Harden trade when it’s all done.

Btw – I guess that makes the Sixers 2023 Investigation Champs? Can we get those second rounders back now? What a bounce back after last year’s heartbreaking loss. Hang the banner.

P.S. Like I told you last week. Andre Iguodala and his word salad were full of shit:

It’s going to be hard to discipline James because what did he do wrong?