The Brooklyn Nets fell to the Sacramento Kings 112-101 on Wednesday evening. It marked the squad’s sixth straight loss and dropped them to 29-22 on the year – placing them sixth in the Eastern Conference.
While they shouldn’t be losing to the likes of the 19-34 Kings at any point, the fact that Brooklyn did it when their opposition was without De’Aaron Fox makes the whole thing even more egregious.
Afterward, frustrations clearly started boiling over.
A video that immediately went viral showed how tense things have started to get between James Harden and Kyrie Irving:
Not only did Irving appear frustrated with Harden’s 2-of-11, 4-point showing, but he looked to be so over it that he walked off the court before time even expired.
What makes matters worse is the fact that rumors of a beef between Irving and Harden have been raging for weeks now. That chatter only intensified after Harden’s postgame comments on Wednesday night.
When pressed on what was contributing to the Nets’ woes, Harden seemed to allude to a lack of roster consistency.
“We just got a lot of different things internally — lineups, we haven’t had no continuity yet,” he said. “So it’s just one of those things where you got to keep going. There’s nothing else to do but keep going, keep pushing forward.”
Numerous reports have suggested that Harden has privately been frustrated with Irving’s part-time status. That, obviously, doesn’t lead to much in the way of continuity.
When Irving was confronted with Harden’s comments, he offered this response:
“I respect James’ opinion,” Irving. “When you’re going through a losing streak, not really many people want to be hearing the same thing over and over again, so I definitely feel for him. And I’m sure if you asked a few guys on the team they would probably feel something similar. But for us, it’s just getting closer as a group.
“The ‘get better’ jargon that we consistently use, whether it be here talking with you guys or in the locker room, it can get mundane. It’s just natural for a human being to get tired of that, so game-to-game we’re feeling like we’re coming out with some moral victories if we lose but we’re just tired of that. So I’m definitely on the same boat in terms of that.”
Obviously Irving opted to go a more diplomatic route here than he did in his cryptic shot at Harden on Instagram.
It will be interesting to see how this situation evolves. Clearly Kevin Durant’s return will smooth certain things over, but it’s hard to see how Harden and Irving will ultimately get on the same page. The friction there seems very real.
The video speaks for itself. https://t.co/lRniycVCSO
— Game 7 (@game7__) February 2, 2022
Should the Nets figure out a way to put all the pieces together, unite and ultimately win a title – all this beef talk will be rendered moot.
If Brooklyn can’t eventually figure it out, though – they may go down as one of the most disappointing NBA super teams of all time.