James Harden not shocked Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving fled Nets’ ‘dysfunction’

NEW YORK — James Harden is not shocked Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving needed out of Brooklyn, having drained shortly of the “dysfunction” he noticed in his temporary time with the Nets and asking out.

“I didn’t just ask to leave for no reason,” Harden stated.

Harden was traded to Philadelphia on the 2022 commerce deadline. By the time he got here again Saturday only a 12 months later for the primary time within the common season, Durant and Irving have been additionally gone.

He would not specify his causes for souring so shortly, however made clear he felt there have been issues inside the Nets group.

“There was just a lot of dysfunction — clearly. There was a lot of internal things that I’m not going to ever just say or put in the media or anything, and that was one of the reasons why I chose to make my decision,” Harden stated after scoring 29 factors within the 76ers’ 101-98 victory.

“But now, fast-forward to today, I don’t look like the crazy one,” he added, one thing he had beforehand careworn to FOX Sports in an unique interview earlier this season. “I don’t look like the guy, or the quitter or whatever the media want to call me. Like, I knew what was going on and I just decided to, like, I’m not built for this. I don’t want to deal with that. I want to play basketball and have fun and enjoy doing it.”

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Harden was acquired from Houston in January 2021 and the Nets shortly turned a championship favourite with their potent lineup. But they misplaced within the second spherical of these playoffs after each Irving and Harden have been injured in opposition to Milwaukee, then struggled to get off the bottom in 2021-22 after Irving refused to be vaccinated in opposition to the coronavirus so he could possibly be eligible to play in all their video games.

After Durant sprained his knee in January 2022, the Big Three was usually right down to only one and Harden’s effort and curiosity appeared to wane whereas pressured to hold a staff that needed to play unproven gamers round him. He instructed the group he needed to depart and the Nets despatched him to the 76ers in a package deal for Ben Simmons.

Harden would not say if the Nets’ issues — or his frustrations — began with the issue in having the ability to depend on Irving.

“I mean, that’s not something that I’m going to answer,” Harden stated. “But the reason I made that decision to get out of my comfort zone, which was leave Houston and do everything that I did to get out of there, was to come in and play with KD and Kyrie. And with that being said, that didn’t happen as much as I would like to or probably the organization wanted to.”

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It turned out to solely be 16 video games.

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Durant initially requested for a commerce final summer season and at last obtained it Thursday when the Nets dealt him to the Phoenix Suns. A number of days earlier, the Nets had moved shortly to grant Irving’s request to depart by dealing him to the Dallas Mavericks.

“There’s a lot of possibilities of what could’ve happened, but it’s part of life,” Harden stated. “Move on, and I’m sure everybody’s in a better place, a good place.”

Reporting by the Associated Press.

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