The Brooklyn Nets put together a team that one could only imagine happening in video games. Besides pairing up Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant in last year's free agency, they traded for a disgruntled James Harden ready to prove that he was one of the best players in the world.
Needless to say, there were a lot of takes about this offensive juggernaut. Some people thought that they were championship-bound already, while others were concerned about the fact that they were three ball-dominant players. Also, the fact that they gave away their depth to land Harden raised serious questions about their ability to get stops.
Fast-forward to today and the Nets have not only meshed perfectly but also they have the best record in the Eastern Conference. Clearly, they were able to work things through and put their egos aside.
So, when asked about why it's been like that, Kevin Durant told ESPN's Rachel Nichols that it's all about checking their ego and holding each other accountable:
“I think our experiences with Team USA definitely help because when you are in that environment, I won’t say you have to shrink yourself, but you have to check your ego and figure out when you need to use it,” Durant said. “We hold each other accountable when stuff happens. I think that’s one of the things that helped us learn how to play with each other.”
Durant also said that Harden's input from the outside was pretty valuable, and their collective basketball IQ and good relationship have helped them figure things out really quickly:
“The second James got here, he was pulling us to the side; telling us different things he sees out on the court. I think our IQ for the game and our communication has helped us thus far," Durant concluded.
We still don't know whether the Nets' historically great Big 3 will be enough in a seven-game series, especially against a team like the Los Angeles Lakers. But one thing's for sure: this is the last time you want to see in the playoffs.