The Brooklyn Nets traded James Harden to the Philadelphia 76ers last week after he expressed a desire to leave the organization.
Given how abruptly his change in tone arose, and taking into account the rumors that persisted of beef between him and Kyrie Irving, one of the main questions everyone had was how much his relationship with Irving impacted his desire to leave Brooklyn.
This week, an answer emerged.
On Tuesday, Harden addressed head on the topic of his relationship with Irving and how much that influenced his move to exit.
Did Kyrie Irving’s situation impact James Harden’s desire to leave the Nets? pic.twitter.com/5fdZxXTheF
— NBC Sports Philadelphia (@NBCSPhilly) February 15, 2022
“Very minimal,” he replied. “Honestly, me and Kyrie are really good friends. Whatever he was going through and still going through, that’s his personal preference.
“But he did impact the team because me, Kyrie, and KD on the court and winning covers up a lot of that stuff. It was unfortunate that we played 16 games out of whatever it was, but it is what it is. Here in Philly is an opportunity that I’m looking forward to.”
It’s worth noting that Irving wasn’t the only person Harden was rumored to have issues with. He and Kevin Durant have reportedly been beefing for a while, and overall the Nets locker room as a whole seemed to really dislike him.
The common denominator in all of these somewhat hostile relationships appears to be Harden.
Regardless of who was at fault, though – Harden is a free man. He is on his third team in as many years and has a chance to rewrite his legacy.
Now that’s how you celebrate a Super Bowl win. https://t.co/ewns5NQxeA
— Game 7 (@game7__) February 16, 2022
But this is his last chance.
If Harden fails once more, it will serve as a permanent tarnish on his brand and will likely ensure that he goes down in NBA lore as one of the more disappointing players of his generation.
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