On Monday, the league fined Philadelphia 76ers’ President of Basketball Operations Daryl Morey $50,000 for violating the NBA’s anti-tampering rule. The fine came with respect to a since-deleted automated tweet from Morey, that recognised the one-year anniversary of James Harden breaking a Houston Rockets franchise assist record.
With Harden having reportedly requested a trade from the Rockets, there has been ample conjecture about the possibility of Morey attempting to trade for the eight-time All-Star. The NBA is clearly not messing around when it comes to tampering.
The official statement from the league reads:
“The NBA announced today that it has fined Daryl Morey, Philadelphia 76ers President of Basketball Operations, $50,000 for violating the league’s anti-tampering rule. The fine is in response to a since deleted social media post Morey made on December 20 regarding the Houston Rockets’ James Harden.”
Per ESPN, in his defense, Morey told the NBA that the tweet was an inadvertent post from an automated app. This is not the first time a tweet has landed Morey in trouble. Last year, a tweet he sent out regarding protests in Hong Kong set off criticism and backlash, and majorly strained the relationship of the NBA and China. Ultimately, Morey apologised for the tweet.
On Saturday, James Harden opened the season with 44 points and 17 assists in the Rockets’ 128-126 overtime defeat against the Portland Trail Blazers. He became the first NBA player to put up a minimum of 40 points with at least 15 assists in their first game of the season. It was the fourth time Harden has had that line in his playing career and the 17 assists he ended with, tied his career-high.