As a fan, we are always hard on our own team’s leadership and decision-making. They frustrate, disappoint, and anger us with their decisions. Yet, sometimes, certain things occur on other teams that make us glad that we are not a fan of that team. The latest drama out of Philadelphia between James Harden and Daryl Morey is proof that things can always be worse. The Washington Wizards fans should be thrilled that they have a competent front office that will likely avoid the types of messes the 76ers regularly find themselves in.
Two days earlier, the Philadelphia 76ers had ended trade talks involving Harden because they couldn’t find a suitable deal for him. It was expected that Harden was going to report to training camp before the start of the season. Then Harden said this in a media event in China:
"“Daryl Morey is a liar and I will never be a part of an organization that he’s a part of. 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.”"
These harsh words are almost unprecedented from an under-contract player about a team executive. It is perhaps even more surprising considering the long and close relationship Morey and Harden have had over the years. Morey went out of his way to bring Harden to Philadelphia after his hire. The relationship between the two severed when the 76ers failed to give Harden the contract he desired this summer after agreeing to take less money last offseason so that the team could strengthen the rest of the roster.
Yet, as shocking as this story was, it’s only the latest in a series of never-ending drama with the 76ers. Maybe we shouldn’t be surprised anymore.
The Markelle Fultz saga, the Ben Simmons drama, and now this. Your star player publicly feuding with the lead decision-maker of your team is as bad as it gets in terms of team culture.
And this is what the new Wizards team president Michael Winger and general manager Will Dawkins were preaching ever since they took charge. “Building culture”, “doing things the right way”, and “bringing high-character players” have been a huge emphasis ever since they took over two months ago.
The Winger-Dawkins duo have backed up their claim with their moves. They moved Bradley Beal and avoided a situation that could have turned sour like Harden’s. They brought in hard-working players who want to be in Washington.
Perhaps the Wizards’ rebuilding will take a while and success will be hard to achieve. Yet, one thing the fans can be sure of is that at least it will be free of needless drama. The focus will be on basketball and winning. Looking at some other teams in the NBA, that’s maybe the best the Wizards fans can hope for.