The Brooklyn Nets’ decision to acquire James Harden last year had many questioning how he would fit alongside Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving.
Many wondered whether Nets coach Steve Nash would be able to corral all those big personalities in a way that would lend itself to success.
Given the petulance Harden displayed on his way out of Houston, there were lingering doubts regarding how his personality would mesh with Nash’s.
Now we know.
Last week, Alex Schiffer of The Athletic provided an in-depth look into Harden’s relationship with Nash.
“On the court, they process the game quickly,” he wrote. “Both have led their team to the top of the Western Conference only to fall short in the playoffs undone by injuries or dynasties. Both possess a feel for which other players’ games fit with theirs and which do not. In Houston, former Rockets assistant Kelvin Sampson said Harden coached the team as much as the staff. That’s reminiscent of Dick Davey, Nash’s college coach at Santa Clara, who once said, ‘I was the head coach. But Steve did as much coaching as I did.’”
Along the way, Schiffer recounted a particularly humorous 7-word quote from Harden that reveals just how close he and Nash are.
“We are twins,” Harden said. “We’re just different colors.”
That’s one way to celebrate. https://t.co/OX5YxYtIyy
— Game 7 (@game7__) October 21, 2021
Obviously because of the lingering Kyrie Irving situation, Harden is being asked to take on a bigger role with the Nets than he might’ve otherwise. To date, though – he is handling it extremely well. And a lot of that is a testament to his relationship with Nash.
Time will tell if Brooklyn can ultimately win a title in 2021-22. But if they don’t, it certainly won’t be because these two couldn’t’ get on the same page.