James Harden was hearing it from one of his old fanbases on Wednesday night — with chants that were in reference to one of his other former squads.
On free-throw attempts early in the first quarter against the Nets at Barclays Center, Harden, now a Clippers guard, heard chants of “Daryl Morey,” which was the president of basketball operations he seemingly butted heads with during his tenure in Philadelphia.
Harden, who made it known at the outset of the offseason that he wanted to be traded away from the 76ers, recently claimed that he felt like he was “on a leash” with the team.
“Philly is just changing my role, knowing I could give more, knowing I could do more, but if you want to be honest, like being on a leash,” Harden said during his introductory Clippers press conference after finally getting dealt out of Philly.
Harden then clarified exactly what he meant by the “leash.”
“I meant that I think the game and I’m a creator on the court… [I need] somebody that trusts me, that believes in me, that understands me, that I’m not a system player. I am a system,” he said.
This came after a fraught summer in which Harden even called Morey a “liar.”
“Daryl Morey is a liar and I will never be a part of an organization that he’s a part of,” Harden said in a video posted by The Athletic’s Shams Charania in August.
“Let me say that again: Daryl Morey is a liar and I will never be a part of an organization that he’s a part of.”
Harden eventually got his wish and got a trade out of Philadelphia and is now with Los Angeles.
In just his second game of the season, Harden looked a bit rusty, making a second-quarter pass from beyond the 3-point arc in the corner that arced high and outside of the court, landing on press row and somehow in the lap of YES Network play-by-play man Ian Eagle.
Eagle, the veteran, made the catch and call with aplomb, despite getting some tea spilled onto his lap.
“That’s coming my way — I got it. Unbelievable. I could see it from the beginning,” Eagle said. “That might have been my greatest call in NBA history. I knew it from the second it left his hand.”
Harden finished with 12 rebounds, eight rebounds and five assists in the Clippers’ second straight loss, this time 100-93, in the New York area after a Tuesday night defeat at the hands of the Knicks.