Philadelphia 76ers star player James Harden has expressed interest in continuing his career in China.
Harden floated the idea while visiting the Asian country at a promotional event for Adidas in China.
– Read also: NBA: James Harden calls his president a liar
“Every time I come here it’s crazy the love I get, you know what I mean? So I think they (speaking of the Chinese) deserve to see me play here,” Harden told the Daily. Philadelphia plaintiffTHURSDAY.
However, relations between the 33-year-old athlete and his president Daryl Morey are not looking good. Harden went with a hard-hitting outing to the media on Monday against Morey.
“Daryl Morey is a liar and I will never again be a member of any organization he is part of,” he said.
A political situation
One of the reasons that would explain this desire for Harden to pursue his career in China would be political.
In 2019, Morey posted a message on his X account (formerly Twitter) in support of protesters in Hong Kong who opposed a law allowing the extradition of fugitives wanted in China.
“Fight for freedom and support Hong Kong,” wrote the general manager of the Houston Rockets, of which James Harden was a member at the time.
This message was not very well passed on within the communist regime. This led to a boycott of the NBA as well as the Houston Rockets in the 2019-20 season in China, resulting in a significant loss of revenue for the NBA.
According to former Silver Tour guard Andre Iguodala, the Pennsylvania team member is using this situation to his advantage.
“When you negotiate a contract, know what your value is and how you can impose yourself. Know what opportunities you have on the other side, your safety net. What is James’ safety net? Daryl Morey has a history with China where he can say anything and the backlash of what he says,” Iguodala told the podcast. Gil’s showhosted by former NBA player Gilbert Arenas.
The veteran also seems frustrated with his contract situation. The big boss of the “Sixers” had decided not to grant him a contract extension at maximum salary. Last June, Harden accepted a $36.5 million option year for the upcoming season.
In 2022-23, the Californian averaged 21 points, 10.7 assists and 6.1 rebounds per game.
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