With the Brooklyn Nets’ «Big Three» disbanded following three separate trades over the past two seasons, speculation has begun as to where it all went wrong.
Three of the best players in the NBA, Kyrie Irving, James Harden and Kevin Durant, were on the same team but played fewer than 20 games together. While general manager Sean Marks and owner Joe Tsai believed they had the right plan, the furthest the team had gotten was the second round of the playoffs in the past four seasons.
Harden spoke about his time with the Nets on Saturday, which drew attention after being quite open.
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«I don’t see myself as the crazy one,» he said via ESPN. «I don’t see myself as the type or the one to give up or whatever the media wants to call me. I knew what was going on and I just decided… Hey, I’m not cut out for this. I don’t want to deal with it. I want to play basketball and have fun».
Harden said it was «frustrating» being on the court with his two star teammates was weird, but «I hope everyone is in a good place now and we can move on.»
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But he also said that «it was something that I knew was not going to change.» So, he wanted out and the Nets gave him his wish, a deal done with the Philadelphia 76ers.
Harden’s quotes led ESPN’s Brian Windhorst and Nick Friedell to the same conclusion on the «Hoop Collective» podcast.
«The consensus in talking to the other writers after we came out and heard him squash the situation and squash the fact that the organization didn’t do more to try to get him back, the person he was talking to is Kyrie Irving.» Friedell said.
«I mean, he didn’t clear the Nets, but my reading was that he was basically saying this is Kyrie’s fault,» Windhorst added.
Friedell responded by saying, «That goes back to how all the people in the Nets organization feel.»
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While Durant has certainly had his moments with the Nets (last summer, there seemed to be a moment where he wanted to end up in Brooklyn), Irving’s off-court situations have been well-documented and led to games he didn’t fit in. . above.
Last season, his decision not to get vaccinated led to him missing a large portion of games because he was not allowed to play at home under New York City restrictions. He also took an unexpected leave of absence from the Nets the previous season; and this year, he was suspended after posting a link to a film promoting anti-Semitic disinformation.
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But the Nets intend to move on now that Irving has been traded to the Dallas Mavericks while Durant has requested a trade to the Phoenix Suns before the NBA trade deadline.