Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving are one of the dynamic duos in the NBA today. The duo was a recipe for instant offence and last year they were supposed to lead the Nets to an NBA championship. But just a few weeks after the season started, the dynamic duo became a dynamic trio. The Brooklyn Nets had added James Harden to the team. With that addition, it was decided that the Nets were going to win the championship. No other team even had a chance.
But fate is a strange thing. James Harden injured his hamstring in the first round of the Playoffs. Soon after that Kyrie Irving hurt his ankle in game 3 leaving Kevin Durant all alone on the floor. The season ended for the Nets with a Game 7 loss in overtime to the Milwaukee Bucks. This season with everyone healthy, the Nets were once again the favourites to win the championship again. But fate raised its ugly head once again.
The city of New York did not allow unvaccinated home team players to play. With Kyrie Irving taking a firm stance on vaccine mandates and refusing to take the vaccine, it was up to Harden and Durant to lead the team. Things were alright until Kevin Durant got injured. Once that happened it all fell on James Harden’s shoulders to lead the team to victory. The very reason James Harden left Houston was to get help but once again he was all alone.
We all know what happened next. In a blockbuster trade, James Harden was sent to the Philadelphia 76ers in exchange for Ben Simmons, Andre Drummond, Seth Curry, and 2 first-round picks. Kevin Durant recently opened up on why James Harden left the Nets and how he felt about it.
Kevin Durant told reporters that he understood why Harden wanted to leave. “You can try to look at it from his perspective: Kai’s not playing, and I’m injured. He hasn’t won a championship before,” Durant said, as reported by Kristian Winfield from the New York Daily News. It is interesting to note how Durant emphasizes the fact that Harden has never won a championship.
While both sides might downplay the situation, the reality is that there is a rivalry that has been built because of the trade between the Brooklyn Nets and the Philadelphia 76ers.