76ers’ James Harden on his departure from the Nets: ‘It was just a lot of dysfunction’

Philadelphia 76ers guard James Harden spoke Saturday about his time with the Brooklyn Nets, saying in part that there was “just a lot of dysfunction” related to his former team. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Harden spent the 2021 season with the Nets and joined the team in January 2021 via a four-team exchange. He departed for Philadelphia in February 2022 when the Nets sent him and Paul Millsap to the 76ers in exchange for Ben Simmons, Seth Curry and Andre Drummond and a pair of first-round picks.
  • After Philadelphia defeated Brooklyn 101-98 on Saturday and a string of dead trades including former Nets players Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant, Harden was asked if there was anything the team could have done to stay in Brooklyn.
  • He replied: “Yes, there were so many things. But it was just a lot of dysfunction. Clearly. But there were a lot of internal things that I’m never going to say easily or put into the media or anything like that. And that was one of the reasons why I made my decision. But now, fast forward to today, I don’t look like the madman.”

What else Harden said

Harden continued his response, adding, “I don’t look like the guy or the quitter or whatever the media wants to call me. I knew what was going on and I just decided to… hey, I wasn’t cut out for this. I don’t want to deal with that. I want to play basketball and have fun and enjoy it. And fast forward to today, they have a whole new squad.”

“It was wrong,” Harden said of his time with the Nets. “It was definitely… it was wrong. It was not right. It wasn’t right… So nothing good came of it.”

Harden declined to answer a question about whether his decision to leave was related to Irving, saying, “The reason I made that decision to get out of my comfort zone was to leave Houston and do whatever what i did to get out of there. should come in and play with KD and Kyrie. And having said that, it didn’t happen in the way I would have liked or probably the organization wanted. It was just something I knew wouldn’t change. So for me, I just had to make an individual decision for the betterment of my family and my career and what I wanted. And that’s what happened.”

“It was a lot,” Harden said. “But I’ve enjoyed my time obviously playing with KD and Kyrie for those games. There are many possibilities of what could have happened. But it’s part of life. Keep going and I’m sure everyone is in a better place, a good place. And here we are.”

What do you think of Harden’s comments?

While Harden may be seen as a quitter in the eyes of Nets fans for years to come (and for some good reasons), his decision to go first has aged well. At the Summer League, a league source with knowledge of the Nets’ inner workings said, “James Harden is looking very smart at the moment.” This was shortly after Durant’s initial trade request and Irving contract situation. Recent events have proved him right as the situation never really improved after his departure.

Harden has his own contributions to the Nets’ mediocrity, including his inability to stay healthy and his early exit, but it appears he’s picked up a step of his game this season in Philadelphia. Though he declined to go into the specifics of his departure, it’s worth wondering how much consideration was given to Irving’s decision not to be vaccinated compared to others in the organization. — skipper

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(Photo: Bill Streicher / USA Today)

https://theathletic.com/4186535/2023/02/11/james-harden-nets-comments-76ers/ 76ers’ James Harden on his departure from the Nets: ‘It was just a lot of dysfunction’

Russell Falcon

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