After the successful trades of Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant, the former member of those Brooklyn Nets teams is speaking out and trying to clear his name of all wrongdoing. James Harden was part of Brooklyn’s Big Three that kept Durant a big toe away from making it to the Eastern Conference Finals in the 2021 playoffs. A year later, Harden was forced out of Brooklyn, landing in Philly, and he was condemned for it. A year after the 76ers trade, Harden throws up his hands and says, “Look, you can’t blame me.”
“I don’t look like the crazy one. I don’t seem like the type or the quitter… I knew what was going on and I just decided I wasn’t cut out for this. I don’t want to deal with it. I want to play basketball and have fun.”
Now that everything has fallen apart in Brooklyn, Harden is coming out and can play the good guy role. He obviously heard what fans, media and even some players were saying after he abruptly bounced from KD and Kyrie at the trade deadline just 12 months ago. Harden uses the ‘q’ word in relation to that situation, and it was talked about a lot after his departure.
Not his first rodeo
At the time, Nets players weren’t too happy about the situation, even if they would deny it now. Whether anyone believes that Harden left Brooklyn or not, one thing that cannot be denied is that this was not the first time that he has been accused of this. Anyone remember Houston? The way this former MVP is mandate ended the Rockets weren’t exactly treated with mercy.
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Ask John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins about situation in Houston in the final days of Harden’s run. Neither of them were happy about Harden going and throwing everyone but general manager Daryl Morey under the bus and running over them on his way out.
Suddenly, since things have gone completely sour in Brooklyn, now Harden wants to portray himself as the good guy. Yes, there were issues within the Nets organization, and some still exist. But Harden went there to reportedly play with Durant again, forming a big three with him and Irving in their bid to win the title. We all have opinions about Durant and Irving, but at least they can say they tried to make it work. No doubt there was a lot of drama, but Kyrie and KD didn’t leave after a year.
Durant and Irving both asked for trades, and Harden now thinks that puts them on the same level. Time plays a significant role in this, as they were in Brooklyn for several years, while Harden barely lasted 12 months with the team. If it’s dysfunctional, that’s understandable. But don’t come back after the fact acting like Mr. Perfect in a situation, especially when you’ve done something similar with another team. Harden would have been better off not responding and letting the consequences speak for themselves.