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James Harden Reportedly Started Acting Up After Kyrie Irving's Return To The Nets: "That Was The Turning Point"

James Harden Reportedly Started Acting Up After Kyrie Irving's Return To The Nets: "That Was The Turning Point"

James Harden wasn't necessarily expected to leave the Brooklyn Nets so soon after forcing a move out of Houston to get there. The rumors about a Sixers move had been consistent but a lot of them were suggesting that the rest of the season would be allowed to play out before the two teams committed to any transaction. 

That obviously didn't turn out to be the case, with a blockbuster trade taking place on the day of the trade deadline that sent The Beard to Philly. Harden's interest in staying with Brooklyn had seemingly deteriorated rapidly during January and while he never really put in an official trade request, it became quite evident that he wanted to make a move as soon as possible.

Kevin Durant's injury was surely a contributing factor, with Harden having to bear the burden of the entire offensive load, especially during home games. This leads to another major factor in that Kyrie Irving's vaccination status only allowed him to play in games outside of New York. 

The point guard has been a controversial figure off the court this season and his return to the team on what can only be described as a part-time basis was a major issue for Harden, according to journalist Vincent Goodwill on the 'Posted Up with Chris Haynes' podcast. 

Vincent Goodwill: "I think what was the turning point here… And I never tell you anything that’s not coming from an educated and informed place. I think the reason James Harden started acting up was the moment the Nets let Kyrie Irving come back." 

Chris Haynes: "Okay, that’s not the first I’ve heard that. I’ve heard of that."

While James Harden has earned criticism for a fair few things during his career, he has always been ready to play basketball and commit to his teams. It does make sense that Irving's situation and behavior this season would tick off the former MVP. In any case, moving to the Philadelphia 76ers has put pressure on Harden to deliver playoff success now, playing alongside an MVP candidate in Joel Embiid.