The Brooklyn Nets large three of Kevin Durant, James Harden and Kyrie Irving could very effectively go down as essentially the most disappointing superteam in NBA historical past. The trio solely performed a complete of 16 video games collectively over a yr and a half because of accidents and suspensions that impacted the provision of all three stars.
All three gamers ended up requesting a commerce from the franchise, with Durant and Irving each getting dealt earlier than the commerce deadline final Thursday. But Harden was the primary of the trio to need out, a choice that acquired heavy backlash on the time. But now a yr later, after the Nets had been backed right into a nook by the commerce requests from Ok.D. and Irving, Harden is sharing some extra perception into his time with the franchise.
After Harden confronted the Brooklyn Nets at Barclays Center for the primary time since being traded to the Philadelphia 76ers on Saturday night time, the previous league MVP obtained candid about what he described as a “irritating” stint with the Nets. When requested if he may’ve predicted that Durant and Irving would now not be on the crew by the point he returned to Barclays Center, the 10-time All Star mentioned succinctly, “Yeah.”
He then elaborated when requested why.
“I did not simply ask to go away for no cause,” Harden mentioned. “I used to be in a extremely good place in Houston. Obviously, we did not have an opportunity to win a championship, however I used to be snug. So for me to up and go away my household, all of the issues I created there, to return to Brooklyn for a yr and a half to attempt to simply rise up and go away, it was for a cause, you recognize what I imply? But I’m comfortable for the group and what they have again. They obtained some actually good items.”
When requested if there have been issues that would’ve been completed in another way to maintain him in Brooklyn, Harden mentioned there have been however did not get into particular particulars.
“Yeah, there was,” Harden mentioned. “Like, lots of issues. But it was simply lots of dysfunction. Clearly. But it was lots of inside issues that I’m not going to ever simply say, put within the media or something. And that was one of many the explanation why I selected to make my choice. But now, fast-forward so far, I do not appear to be the loopy one. I do not appear to be the man or the quitter or regardless of the media wish to name me. I knew what was occurring and I simply determined to … hey, I’m not constructed for this. I do not wish to take care of that. I wish to play basketball and have enjoyable and revel in doing it. And fast-forward to in the present day, they have a complete new roster.”
At the time of Harden’s commerce request, it was reported that there was a “bizarre vibe” between Harden and Irving. There was hypothesis that Harden requested for a commerce partly as a result of Irving’s availability was a difficulty because of being unable to play in Nets house video games as a result of he was unvaccinated in opposition to COVID-19. However, throughout his introductory press convention after being traded to the Sixers final season, Harden mentioned that performed a “very minimal” position in his choice.
On Saturday night time, Harden was requested if Irving’s availability points, which additionally included lacking a number of weeks through the 2020-21 season for private causes along with solely taking part in 29 video games final season because of being unvaccinated, performed a task in Brooklyn’s dysfunction.
“That’s not one thing that I’m going to reply,” Harden mentioned. “But the explanation I made that call to get out of my consolation zone which was go away Houston and do all the things that I did to get out of there was to return in and play with KD and Kyrie.
“And with that being mentioned, that did not occur as a lot as I want to or in all probability the group needed to. It was simply one thing the place I knew it wasn’t going to vary. So, for me, I simply needed to make a person choice for the betterment of my household and my profession and what I needed. And that is what occurred.”
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Now that each one three gamers have left the Nets, with Durant getting traded to his most well-liked vacation spot of the Phoenix Suns and Irving dealt to the Dallas Mavericks, Harden mirrored on his short-lived time with the Nets and summed it up with one phrase.
“Frustrating,” Harden mentioned. “It’s lots of what-ifs, I feel once you play lower than 20 video games collectively. So it is a bit bit irritating, however it’s what it’s. Hopefully, everyone’s in a superb place now and we are able to transfer on.”
It’ll go down as the most important what-if in NBA historical past, as a result of on paper the Nets had a roster that was constructed to win a championship. However, it is also a fantastic instance that simply because a crew is loaded with star energy, does not imply that it is all going to work out.
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