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Stephen A. Smith Says Kevin Durant Is The Only Reason James Harden Is Still With Nets

Kevin Durant And James Harden Reportedly Clashed "On Multiple Fronts, Including Their Ideals Of The Team Culture."

32-year-old James Harden could be on the verge of switching jerseys for the third time in his NBA career. After 80 games with the Brooklyn Nets, his future has been shrouded in uncertainty as reports of his frustration have gone viral online.

Now, on the eve of the NBA trade deadline, Harden is reportedly ready to head south and team up with Joel Embiid.

According to the latest update by Stephen A. Smith, the only thing keeping the Beard in Brooklyn at this point is Kevin Durant, who has been the only voice of reason in a dysfunctional Nets locker room.

"From the people that I've spoken to, he wants out of Brooklyn. He does not want to be there. He hasn't completely gone nuclear like he did in Houston where he's showing up late or refusing to show up at all. One executive described it to me as being at a '60% level' and another player echoed that sentiment. If he went 100 at Houston, he's at about 60 right now and Kevin Durant obviously has something to do with that.

He wants out, he wants to be in Philadelphia -- the tardiness, the lateness, showing up to games late, things of that nature, all of that stuff has been happening. The reason what the Nets have held off on it according to my sources is that Kevin Durant chimed in and said 'excuse me, I'm supposed to be back after the All-Star break.'"

Despite being on the verge of collapse, the Nets are still in a position to win the East. Kevin Durant is due to come back in a few weeks and the COVID mandates could be lifted before the playoffs, meaning the team could be at full strength right in time for the first round.

It's certainly a bizarre situation for the Nets and for Harden, who is apparently keen on leaving behind a talented roster for the sake of starting fresh in Philadelphia.

Whatever the case, Harden and Nets GM Sean Marks are at a crossroads and one decision could change everything for the people involved.

Through it all, Kevin Durant is trying his best to keep the status quo.