After days of speculation, it finally happened. On Thursday afternoon, shortly before the NBA’s 3:00 a.m. EST trade deadline, the Brooklyn Nets and Philadelphia 76ers agreed to a trade centered on James Harden and Ben Simmons.
Numerous reports have now surfaced which indicate that the discord in the Brooklyn locker room ultimately led to the departure of James Harden. This includes Kyrie Irving’s part-time status, as Harden was reportedly frustrated with the lack of help he was getting from Kyrie. This claim would have extended beyond Kyrie, as Sports Illustrated’s Farbod Esnaashari reported that James Harden and Kevin Durant had also clashed at times, including disagreements over their team culture ideals.
While all reports from Thursday indicate that James Harden’s relationship in that locker room had soured, Kyrie Irving took to the high road in his post-game press conference. “I’m not here to judge him, I’m not here to put James down… I just want him to be happy, I just want everyone in this league to be happy,” Kyrie said. “One thing that we never talk about in our industry, you never really know what people are going through and you have to respect their decisions,” Kyrie added.
Although Irving didn’t take any shots at James Harden, he expressed excitement for Ben Simmons’ arrival. “When I look at Ben, I see so many different skills he can bring to the pitch. I see so many different positions he can play,” Kyrie said.
While it’s unclear when Ben Simmons will make his debut for the Brooklyn Nets, the team is understandably excited to put the James Harden situation behind them and move forward with this new roster.
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