In the aftermath of Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant’s blockbuster trades, a former member of those Brooklyn Nets teams is speaking out and attempting to clear his name of any wrongdoing. James Harden was part of the big three for Brooklyn that was a Durant big toe away from advancing to the Eastern Conference Finals in the 2021 playoffs. One year later, Harden forced his way out of Brooklyn, landing in Philly, and was lambasted for it. A year after the 76ers trade, Harden is throwing his hands up, saying, “look, you can’t blame me.”
“I don’t look like the crazy one. I don’t look like the guy or the quitter... I knew what was going on, and I just decided I’m not built for this. I don’t want to deal with that. I want to play basketball and have fun.”
Now that it’s all fallen apart in Brooklyn, Harden comes out and can play the role of the good guy. Obviously, he heard what fans, media, and even some players were saying after he abruptly bounced on KD and Kyrie at the trade deadline just 12 months ago. Harden uses the ‘q’ word regarding that situation, and it was thrown around quite a bit following his exit.
Not his first rodeo
At the time, Nets players weren’t too happy about the situation, even if they’d deny it now. Whether or not anyone believes Harden quit on Brooklyn, one thing that cannot be denied is this wasn’t the first time he’s been accused of this. Does anyone remember Houston? The way this former MVP’s tenure ended with the Rockets wasn’t exactly handled with grace.
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Ask John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins about the situation in Houston in the final days of Harden’s run. Neither one of them was happy about how Harden left and threw everyone except general manager Daryl Morey under the bus and backed over ‘em on his way out.
Suddenly, because things broke down entirely in Brooklyn, now Harden wants to paint himself as the good guy. Yes, there were issues inside the Nets organization, and some still linger. But Harden went there to supposedly play with Durant again, forming a big three with him and Irving in their attempt to win a title. We all have opinions about Durant and Irving, but at least they can say they tried to make it work. There’s been a ton of drama, no doubt, but Kyrie and KD didn’t leave after one year.
Durant and Irving requested trades, and Harden now thinks that puts them on the same level. Timing plays a significant role in this, as they were in Brooklyn for multiple years, while Harden barely lasted 12 months with the team. If it’s dysfunctional, that’s understandable. But don’t come back after the fact acting like Mr. Perfect in the situation, especially when you did something similar with another team. Harden would’ve been better off not responding and letting the fallout speak for itself.