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James Harden wasn't stunned by Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving's Nets exit

At the 2022 trade deadline, Harden was traded from Brooklyn. One year later, both Durant and Irving had also left the NBA.

James Harden wasn't stunned by Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving's Nets exit
James Harden wasn't stunned by Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving's Nets exit

James Harden was not surprised by Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving's departure from the Nets

(AP) NEW YORK — James Harden is not shocked that Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving decided to leave Brooklyn, since he rapidly became tired of the "dysfunction" he witnessed during his brief stint with the Nets and requested a trade. 

"I did not request a transfer for no cause," Harden stated. 

At the 2022 trade deadline, Harden was moved to Philadelphia. By the time he returned for the first time in the regular season a year later on Saturday, Durant and Irving were also gone. 

He refused to describe the causes for his sudden deterioration, but made it apparent that he believed the Nets organization had issues. 

"There was certainly a great deal of dysfunction. Harden stated, after scoring 29 points in the 76ers' 101-98 victory, that he chose to make his decision for a number of reasons. "There were a lot of internal things that I will never say or put in the media, and that was one of the reasons why I made my decision." 

"However, in the present day, I no longer resemble the crazed individual," he added. "I don't look like the person, the quitter, or whatever the media wishes to label me. I was aware of the situation and thought, "I'm not made for this." I am unwilling to deal with that. I want to play basketball and enjoy myself while doing so." 

Harden was acquired from the Houston Rockets in January 2021, and the Nets' potent roster became an instant title favorite. However, they fell in the second round of those playoffs after both Irving and Harden were injured against the Milwaukee Bucks, and they struggled to get off the ground in 2021-22 because Irving refused to be vaccinated against the coronavirus so he could be eligible to participate in all of their games. 

After Durant damaged his knee in January 2022, the Big Three was sometimes reduced to a single player, and Harden's effort and interest appeared to dwindle as he was required to carry a team that had to play unknown guys around him. The Nets traded him to the 76ers for Ben Simmons after he informed the team of his desire to leave. 

Harden declined to comment on whether the Nets' difficulties, or his own frustrations, stemmed from the inability to rely on Irving. 

Harden stated, "That is not a question I can answer." "However, the reason I decided to leave my comfort zone and leave Houston was to join KD and Kyrie. However, this did not occur as frequently as I would have liked or as the organization undoubtedly desired." 

There were just 16 games in total. 

Thursday, the Nets traded Durant to the Phoenix Suns after he initially requested a trade last summer. A few days previously, the Nets acted swiftly to accommodate Irving's departure request by trading him to the Dallas Mavericks. 

Harden remarked, "There are many potential outcomes that may have occurred, but it's a fact of life." "Move forward, and I'm confident that everyone is in a better, better place."


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