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James Harden’s time with the Nets was short, complicated and ultimately a failure.

But the organization was as much to blame as anyone, according to Harden.

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“I don’t want to just talk to someone or something. There was just no structure and even superstars, they need structure,” Harden said in an interview with Fox Sports that took place five days before the Nets fired Steve Nash and was published over the weekend (all times AEDT). .

Monday, December 19

Monday December 19th

“It’s what allows us to be the best players and leaders for our respective organizations.

“I just feel that inside, things are not what I expected when I was trying to trade there. I think everyone knows that. And I knew that people would talk and say. “You quit” and all that stuff, but the next summer the other superstar there (Kevin Durant) wanted to leave. So it’s like. Have I given up yet?’

Harden was traded for Ben Simmons in February (Photo: Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)Source: FOX SPORTS

After the Nets traded for Harden in January 2021 to form what they believed would be a championship Big 3 featuring Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, it wasn’t long before the experiment began to unravel.

Harden had a hamstring problem during the season and Irving was a part-time player because he refused to get the COVID-19 vaccine. Durant was also concerned about Harden’s form and the two butt heads, sources told Fox Sports.

The Nets reached the Eastern Conference semifinals, but lost to the eventual NBA champion Bucks.

“When it got to a certain point, James was just done,” one Nets official said.

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Things were certainly worse last season. The Big 3 played just 16 games together before Harden was forced out of town and traded to the Sixers as part of a blockbuster trade that brought back Philadelphia’s own disgruntled star Ben Simmons and Brooklyn’s first-round playoff exit. Celtics.

In Philly, meanwhile, Harden was crushed to make just two shots in the second half of a lopsided Game 6 loss to the Heat in the Eastern Conference semifinals.

The Nets and Sixers are fourth and fifth in the standings, respectively, this season, with Brooklyn holding a one-game lead over Philadelphia after Irving’s buzzer-beater Friday night to beat the Raptors. However, the question of what could have been will remain until one of them wins a championship.

“Who said it didn’t work out?” Harden said about his time with the Nets. “We just didn’t have enough talent. There were better teams than us. But if we won, everything would be fine.”

-This article was first published in the New York Post and is reproduced with permission



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