Report- Nets Condemn Kyrie Irving For Their ‘Big Three’ With Kevin Durant And James Harden Not Working Out
Irving missed a bunch of time on the court over last four seasons due to various reasons
With the Brooklyn Nets’ “Big Three” disbanded following three separate trades over the past two seasons, speculation about where it all went wrong has begun.
Three of the best players in the NBA – Kyrie Irving, James Harden and Kevin Durant – were on the same team but played less than 20 games together. While GM Sean Marks and owner Joe Tsai believed they had the right plan in place, the farthest that the team went was the second round of the playoffs over the last four seasons.
Harden spoke on his time with the Nets on Saturday, which did turn some heads after being pretty open.
“I don’t look like the crazy one,” he said via ESPN. “I don’t look like the guy or the quitter or whatever the media want to call me. I knew what was going on, and I just decided to … hey, I’m not built for this. I don’t want to deal with that. I want to play basketball and have fun.”
Harden said it was “frustrating” being on the court with his two all-star teammates was rare, but “hopefully everybody’s in a good place now and we can move on.”
But he also said “it was just something where I knew it wasn’t going to change.” So, he wanted out and the Nets gave him his wish, a deal done with the Philadelphia 76ers.
Harden’s quotes led ESPN’s Brian Windhorst and Nick Friedell to come to the same conclusion on the “Hoop Collective” podcast.
“The consensus in talking to the other writers after we walked out and listened to him crush the situation and crush the fact that the organization didn’t do more to try and bring him back, the person he was talking to is Kyrie Irving,” Friedell said.
“I mean, he didn’t absolve the Nets, but my read on it was that he was basically saying this is Kyrie’s fault,” Windhorst added.
Friedell responded, saying, “That goes to what all the people in the Nets organization feel.”
While Durant has certainly had his moments with the Nets – this past summer, there seemed a time when he wanted to be done in Brooklyn – Irving’s off-the-court situations have been well-documented and led to games where he didn’t suit up.
Last season, his decision not to get vaccinated led to missing a large chunk of games because he wasn’t allowed to play at home under New York City restrictions. He also took an unexpected leave of absence from the Nets the season prior; and this year, he was suspended after posting a link to a movie that promoted antisemitic disinformation.
But the Nets intend on moving forward now since Irving was traded to the Dallas Mavericks, while Durant requested a trade to the Phoenix Suns prior to the NBA trade deadline.