The James Harden circus is back. This time it’s in Brooklyn.
The Brooklyn Nets came into the 2021-22 season the prohibited favorites to win the NBA championship, and that’s very understandable when you have Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and James Harden on the same team. But, unfortunately, at the moment, the Nets are theoretically not the worse team in the league, but they damn sure are the laughing stock of the association, and reportedly James Harden quietly wants out of Brooklyn.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and LeBron James whisperer Brian Windhorst report Harden wants a trade to the Philadelphia 76ers. Harden has not gone the same route he took in Houston by not formally requesting it “out of fear of the public backlash,” but his play and attitude sure does scream get me out of here. Per Wojnarowski and Windhorst’s reporting, Harden hopes his buddy Daryl Morey can get something done as Thursday’s (Feb.10) trade deadline is on the horizon. The problem is convincing the Nets to take disgruntled superstar Ben Simmons. Reportedly the Nets also want other assets that Morey is unwilling to part with. So both Morey and Nets GM Sean Marks have yet to engage in any dialogue.
While Nets fans might be annoyed by Harden, it’s understandable why he feels the way he does. Kyrie Irving, the reason they are all on that team, has been a part-time participant in the group project because of the ridiculous stance against taking the COVID-19 vaccine. Kevin Durant has done nothing but shown he arguably the greatest basketball player on the planet and hooped up until he went down with an injury and has been sidelined ever since with hopes of returning to action after the NBA All-Star break.
The Nets are hoping that the prospect of Kevin Durants return and possibly Kyrie Irving being able to play in home games as New York’s COVID-19 and vaccine restrictions are loosened but risk holding onto a very disgruntled player. Harden has missed the last three games due to a “hamstring injury,” In a loss to the Sacramento Kings, he only scored four points, with many calling his play a “protest performance.” Harden will also miss tonight’s matchup against the Wizards that will see them try to stop their 9-game losing streak. After sitting atop of the Eastern Conference standings at the beginning of the season, the Nets are now 29-25 and fell to the 8th spot.
Update (Feb.10): Per Adrian Wojnarowski, the Brooklyn Nets have traded James Harden to the Philadelphia 76ers for Ben Simmons. The Sixers also get Paul Milsap while the Nets acquire Seth Curry, Andre Drummond, and 2 1st-round picks. This will be Harden’s third team, we shall see how this works out.
Sixers all-star big man and leading candidate for MVP Joel Embiid has this to say about the trade.
As expected, NBA Twitter is reacting to Harden being traded.
You can peep them in the gallery below.
Photo: Steven Ryan / Getty