While both the Brooklyn Nets and the Philadelphia 76ers seem more or less happy with the trade that saw Ben Simmons and James Harden swap teams along with a few teammates, the move hasn't gone over so well with some fans and media members. The fact that Harden just became a Net last year and has already moved on to another team has rubbed a few people the wrong way, with the Beard catching some heat for his decision to push for a move.
For Harden, the move is about something very simple though. Speaking at his first press conference as a Sixer, Harden explained that the reason behind his move is simply a desire to win. The former MVP seemed emphatic in his belief that a duo of him and Joel Embiid is enough to lead the franchise to an NBA championship.
While Harden's words could be seen as him praising the new teammates he will be playing with in Philadelphia, they can also be interpreted as a shot at the team that was around him with the Brooklyn Nets. And NBA legend Tracy McGrady took exception to what the Beard said, questioning what exactly Harden meant by the things he has said in this regard.
“What are you insinuating?” McGrady said. “That the guys in Brooklyn didn’t want to win? Is that what we talkin’ about? That’s what it sounds like to me.”
“We all know Philly was his first choice [last season] before he went to Brooklyn, so when things hit the fan he wanted out of there. He shut it down. He wasn’t hurt. He wasn’t hurt. He shut it down. Y’all think he’s hurt right now? You don't rehab a hammy doing stepbacks."
Harden is clearly in a much happier place having gotten the trade to Philadelphia and while accusations of faking his injury might be a bit harsh, he does seem like he's raring to go for his new team. He won't be taking part in the All-Star game, which could suggest a return after the weekend and with Philly just 2.5 games out of the first seed, they could be on course for a wildly successful season.