James Harden says his piece on time with drama filled Nets | amNewYork

Brooklyn – When James Harden was introduced to the Philadelphia 76ers lineup, he was booed for touching the ball early in the game and was called a “traitor” by some Nets fans when he stepped over the free throw line. I went.

None of that mattered to the man known as the Beard, and after the Sixers beat the Nets, he seemed to get a few things off his chest about his time in Brooklyn. Harden forced a trade to Brooklyn last year at the trade deadline amid a chaotic season for the Nets.

In their first game at Barclays Center since then, the Nets look very different and have given up their superstar players following the exits of Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving last week.

“I didn’t ask to leave for no reason,” Harden said. “I was in a really good place in Houston. Obviously, we didn’t have a chance to win the championship, but I was comfortable. So for me to leave my family and all the things I built in Brooklyn, what a year and a half For years? Just to get up and leave? It was for a genuine cause, but I’m happy for the organization that they got it back. They’ve got some really nice pieces.”

Harden was clearly disenchanted with what happened in Brooklyn during his brief time with the Nets. Harden, Durant and Irving appeared on the court together in the Big 3 a total of 16 times, partly due to injuries and at other times it was a bit more complicated.

Irving played a big role in this during the Nets Big 3 era due to his availability, or lack thereof. The superstar point guard sat out games due to personal reasons during the 2020-21 season due to the January 6 riot in the Capitals.

Last season he missed a portion of the season due to his refusal to receive the COVID vaccine and then when he was cleared to play in January of 2022 it was only in road games due to New York City’s vaccine mandate . Harden did not directly state how much Irving contributed to his decision to leave, but it became clear that he did not like the position.

FILE – Brooklyn Nets guard James Harden (13), forward Kevin Durant (7) and guard Kyrie Irving celebrate during the first half of Game 1 of an NBA basketball first round playoff series in New York City, Saturday, May 22, 2021.AP Photo/Corey Sipkin, File

He said, “The reason I decided to get out of my comfort zone, which was everything I did to get out of there except for Houston, was to come here and play with KD and Kyrie.” “With that being said, it didn’t happen as much as I wanted or how much the organization wanted. It’s something I knew wasn’t going to change. For me, all I needed was for the betterment of my family and my career.” Had to make a personal decision and do what I wanted and that’s what happened.

Harden didn’t elaborate when he said there were things the Nets could have done to keep him, taking a second to fire back at those who labeled him a quitter.

“Yeah, there were a lot of things. A lot of procrastination, frankly. There was a lot of internal stuff,” Harden said. Did. Now, fast forward to today, I don’t look like crazy. I don’t look like a quitter or whatever the media wants to call me. I knew what was going on and I just decided I was not made for this. I don’t want to deal with it. I want to play basketball and have fun and enjoy doing it.

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