(Reuters) – The NBA fined Philadelphia 76ers’ President of Basketball Operations Daryl Morey $50,000 on Monday for violating its anti-tampering rule after he posted a message about Houston Rockets shooting guard James Harden on social media.
Morey, who was Houston’s general manager before he joined the 76ers in November, fueled speculation about a trade for Harden when on Dec. 20 he posted a memory of one of the former league MVP’s individual accomplishments from last year.
The since deleted tweet, which some dismissed as nothing more than Morey reminiscing about one of his former players, was posted days before the 2020-21 season tipped off and amid rumors of trade talks between the two teams.
“The NBA… 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,” the NBA said in a statement.
It is not the first time a post from Morey stirred the pot as he tweeted his support for pro-democracy demonstrators in a since-deleted October 2019 post that included an image captioned: “Fight For Freedom. Stand With Hong Kong.”
In the aftermath of Morey’s politically sensitive tweet, China’s state-run television network stopped airing NBA games while corporate partners in the country scrapped or suspended relations with the NBA.
(Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto, editing by Pritha Sarkar)