When the Brooklyn Nets traded for James Harden last season, it was a classic example of the rich getting richer in the NBA.
The Nets, who already had Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, traded for Harden to form, arguably, the best offensive trio in basketball. And while the move solidified their status as title favorites, it wasn't necessarily one they needed to make... right?
Well, apparently, the Nets didn't see it that way at the time. As ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski recently reported, the hopeful Eastern powerhouse considered the Harden acquisition a necessity. Why? Because they had a feeling from the start that they couldn't rely on 'Uncle Drew.'
"When the Nets made [the Harden] trade, they saw James Harden as a necessity. I think that they could already see that they may not be able to count on Kyrie Irving."
"I think the day James Harden arrived in Brooklyn, Kyrie Irving was expendable — if he chose to be expendable."
This latest debacle with Kyrie has certainly been the loudest, but it's hardly the first time something like this has happened.
In Cleveland, Kyrie basically quit on the Cavs after demanding a trade out of nowhere in the summer of 2017. People continue to speculate what went wrong, but we never did get a clear answer on why he decided to leave a little more than a year after winning the title.
In Boston, he announced to fans that he'd be staying with the franchise long-term before completely abandoning the franchise months later, following reports of a fractured locker room.
Of course, Kyrie hasn't been consistent in Brooklyn either. he only played about 20 games in his first season and randomly took games off for "personal reasons" during his second season.
And now, he's set to miss this entire upcoming campaign (with the Nets in a position to win a Chip, by the way).
Whatever the Nets management was thinking when they traded for Harden, it's a move that has saved their skin. Without the Beard, Kevin Durant would be the lone star, and their title aspirations would be nothing more than a pipe-dream.