At this point, there is no denying that James Harden wanted out of Brooklyn. While he never officially asked for a trade, he sent a message to the organization and made it clear to everyone on the team that he didn't want to be there.
Some of that negative energy may have impacted the vibe in the locker room, which is probably what ultimately pushed the Nets to trade him ahead of the deadline.
Now that he's gone, it seems like a weight has been lifted off the team's shoulders, as Bruce Brown seemed to hint at during his post-game presser on Monday.
“[Snapping that losing streak felt] amazing,” said Brown. “When we were in Miami we had a little team bonding event and then the vibe just changed, we can all feel it, and feel it in the locker room and we know we’re gonna be here so it was just good for us to be around each other, learn more about each other, it was just a great win for us today.”
“Yeah definitely. The locker room there’s just a great vibe in there right now,” added Brown. “I don’t know what it is, everything just shifted, after the trade deadline. So everybody likes everybody. So it’s just great.”
It is not known exactly where things went wrong for Brooklyn, his commitment to the team was questioned long before his trade to Philly and his relationship with Durant and Kyrie wasn't in the best of conditions.
Sources: In addition to friction between James Harden and Kyrie Irving over Irving's availability, Harden also clashed with Kevin Durant on multiple fronts, including their ideals of the team's culture.
Many in BKN questioned Harden's commitment to the team prior to the trade.
Towards the end of his time there, the situation must have been toxic. As rumors circulated about Harden's future, tensions rose as the Nets started losing games.
With all of that over now, the Nets can finally focus on basketball and put their work into getting back into a position of power in the Eastern Conference.
For the guys who have had to endure the chaos all season long, it must feel good to have a sense of normalcy within the franchise.