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James Harden Gets Brutally Honest About Kyrie Irving’s Woes

James Harden Gets Brutally Honest About Kyrie Irving’s Woes

Kyrie Irving refuses to get the COVID-19 vaccination. Because New York mandates that all pro athletes who practice or play indoors show proof of at least one vaccine shot, he cannot participate in many team activities – including home games.

Given that the Brooklyn Nets have been the universal favorite to win the NBA championship this year, Irving’s stance is somewhat problematic.

The relationship between Irving and the Nets has been rapidly deteriorating for weeks now – despite his attempts to clear the air regarding the real reason he is doing what he is doing.

On Wednesday, James Harden got brutally honest about the circus surrounding Irving.

“We all had conversations,” he said, per James Herbert of CBS Sports. “Sean (Marks), Steve (Nash), me, KD, Kyrie, we all had conversations. Kyrie believes in his beliefs, and he stands firm and strong on that. And for us, we respect it. We all love Ky.”

Earlier this week Marks, the Nets’ GM, revealed that Irving will not be able to practice or play with the team until he is vaccinated. Although he is technically still eligible to participate in select road games, Brooklyn doesn’t want Irving working part-time.

“That’s the front office,” Harden said of the move. “We had conversations, as far as a collective unit, and the ultimate decision that the front office made was that if Ky wasn’t gonna be here full-time, then it’s best for him not to be on the team part-time. I have no say so in that, and I can only state my opinion. We gotta continue to move forward. Obviously we would love to have Kyrie here.”

As far as Harden is concerned, the decision needed to be made because it provides clarity on where everyone goes from here – at least in the short term.

“I think that was a part of it,” Harden said of the move. “Now, it’s just every single game, we got guys who know what their role is consistently, what they’re supposed to be doing night in and night out.

“I think for us, we just gotta focus on the guys in this locker room, and that’s here, that’s putting in the work every single day,” Harden added. “That’s all we can control, that’s all we can focus on. Every single day is already a struggle. It’s already difficult just ‘cause we’re trying to catch up, we’re trying to put it together. So I think that’s the main thing we can focus on, is getting better every single day as a unit whoever is in the locker room and preparing for game with us.”

Watch this space. The situation between Irving and the Nets doesn’t seem to have an easy solution. They already tried trading him once – only to have Kevin Durant scuttle it.

Obviously Harden’s take on the matter is very different than the one offered by Phoenix Suns guard Chris Paul recently. Then again, given the bad blood that has existed for years between Paul and Harden, that’s probably not all too surprising.

How will this saga ultimately unfold? Time will tell.

Related: ESPN Firing Adam Schefter Over Leaked Email Scandal?

Anthony Amador

A recent graduate from the University of Texas, Anthony Amador has been credentialed to cover the Houston Texans, Dallas Cowboys, San Antonio Spurs, Dallas Mavericks and high school games all over the Lone Star State. Currently, his primary beats are the NBA, MLB, NFL and UFC.

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