Coming into this NBA season the Brooklyn Nets were widely viewed as a favorite to win the championship. A big reason why was the seemingly unstoppable trio of Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and James Harden.
Unfortunately, the relationship between this group quickly soured.
The bad blood culminated in Harden demanding to be dealt prior to the NBA Trade Deadline, which ultimately resulted in him getting shipped off to the Philadelphia 76ers.
This week, new details emerged on the primary source of discontent between Durant and Harden.
According to ESPN NBA insider Kevin Arnovitz, Durant was especially unhappy with Harden’s conditioning. Which in turn led to some friction between the pair.
“Sources say that much of the discontent between Harden and the Nets started in September when he arrived into training camp out of shape,” the report noted.
“Durant had been understanding of Harden’s predicament in Houston as a man in need of new scenery, but also tacitly expected his former teammate to commit himself to conditioning and self-care when he came seeking a title in Brooklyn, according to a source close to both stars.
“… Durant was astonished in the opening weeks of the season at Harden’s lack of explosiveness and sluggish play, something he attributed in large part to Harden’s being out of shape, as he did the ensuing hamstring issues.”
Harden, apparently, didn’t take kindly to the critique.
“Harden, sources say, found Durant’s slant grating and self-righteous,” the report continued. “The two never resolved the conflict, and there was little that teammates, coach Steve Nash or Marks could do to mediate it.”
None of this should come as a surprise. Harden was always far more concerned with partying than being a productive, winning basketball player. In fact, there are already indications that he is infecting his new, young 76ers teammates with the same poisonous way of thinking.
That’s one way to return the Lions to respectability. https://t.co/5GNis0N5nt
— Game 7 (@game7__) April 12, 2022
So it makes sense that he and Durant would have issues.
The 76ers and Nets seem to be on a collision course in the playoffs this year. If and when it happens, it’ll be an epic battle for the ages.
Who will ultimately prevail out of Durant and Harden? Time will tell.