Harden debunks claims that Irving's stance factored in his demand for a trade
Brooklyn, NY — Kyrie Irving was "part of the reason James Harden wanted out of Brooklyn," reads the USA Today headline. From the moment the Nets traded Harden, arguably the best scorer in the league, rumors dominated the NBA landscape.
Ah, but once again Harden shows why that old joke goes: Rumors teach us so much about ourselves that we never knew.
Indeed, saying Irving's personal decision led to Harden requesting a trade, to another team, which requires moving his family to an entirely new city, left Harden shaking his head.
Irving's stance on vaccination, Harden said, had "very minimal" impact on his decision to leave Brooklyn. "Me and Kyrie are very good friends," he added, "and whatever he's going through, or still going through that's his personal preference."
As for the real reason Harden ditched the NBA's most talented team, the answer lies in knowing — we've seen this movie before.
Harden left the Nets for the same reason John Lennon left the Beatles . . . for the same reason Bobby Brown left New Edition — Harden sees himself as a lead singer, not a co- or backup.
"Harden would roll his eyes when an after-timeout play was designed for Durant," Vinod writes. Indeed, when you've led the NBA in scoring for several seasons, not to mention winning an MVP, it's hard to stomach singing backup.
In short, Harden's trade request had little to do with Irving's personal decision and far more to do with his own.