James Harden's tenure in Brooklyn came to an end after 13 months when he was traded to the Philadelphia 76ers earlier this week. Before the 2022 trade deadline struck, the Nets dealt the Beard to Philly in exchange for Ben Simmons, Seth Curry, Andre Drummond, and draft picks.
Seeing all the expectations about the Nets with Harden, Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, the rumors and subsequent trade weren't well-received by fans, who showed their unhappiness with the guard for wanting to leave the team after only one year at Barclays Center.
Kevin Durant was visibly uncomfortable when the news happened, as he even ignored James Harden in the most recent All-Star Game draft. He picked Rudy Gobert with the last pick, sending his former teammate to Team LeBron for the upcoming game.
Everybody had something to say about this, claiming Durant was mad at Harden, but the 2x NBA champion clarified he understands that Harden made his decision on his own and nobody forced him to leave the Nets or give an explanation for his desire to leave.
Talking with reporters, Durant broke his silence on the move, showing his respect to the 2018 NBA MVP and saying it's time to move on with what they have now.
“James doesn’t have to explain anything to anybody, he’s his own man. He makes his decisions on his career by himself, he doesn’t owe anybody any explanation and I wasn’t looking for one. I’m just glad we got this thing done. Now we’re able to move forward and get away from this noise of what may happen, so I’m glad we could push through that. James doesn’t owe anybody an explanation, this is his life.”
Even though Harden's departure from Brooklyn raised some eyebrows around the league, KD isn't worried about that. He knows the Nets got a big one in Ben Simmons while adding a solid shooter like Seth Curry and a terrific rebounder in Andre Drummond.
The Nets are on an 11-game losing streak, and it's time for them to turn things around and climb positions again. They're in play-in positions right now, and if something doesn't improve, they'll have a hard job in the playoffs.
Both Harden and Simmons got their wish granted. Their new teams are happy to have him, and we can't wait to see what this new rivalry will bring to the Eastern Conference.