Harden is now reunited with his friend and former club colleague Kevin Durant in the “Big Apple”. Brooklyn also has a third top star, who recently caused negative headlines again: point guard Kyrie Irving, who missed the last five games “for personal reasons”, was dancing on a video without mouth and nose protection at the birthday party to see his sister Asia, who turned 30 on Monday. The 28-year-old must therefore expect a heavy fine for non-compliance with the league’s corona protocol, the NBA investigation into this offense is already ongoing.
In order to guide Harden to the New York borough of Brooklyn, the Nets had to hand over three NBA draft first-round picks (2022, 2024 and 2026 / all to Houston) and several young players: Guard Caris LeVert (26 years old / will play for the Indiana Pacers), center Jarrett Allen (22) as well as the forwards Taurean Prince (26 / both now Cleveland Cavaliers) and Rodions Kurucs (22 / Houston). Former All-Star Guard Victor Oladipo is switching from the Indiana Pacers to the Rockets, who also receive Guard Dante Exum from Cleveland.
NBA title “The Beard” is still missing
Harden had played with Durant for Oklahoma City Thunder for three seasons starting in 2009 and was shipped to Houston with the US team via trade in 2012 after the lost final against Miami Heat and the Olympic victory in London, where he rose to become an absolute top star. In 2018, the Californian was named the NBA’s Most Valuable Player (MVP) and has always been the top scorer of the best basketball league in the world for the past three seasons with an average of more than 30 points per game.
In 2018/19 Harden even reached 36.13 points per match. Only the NBA legends Wilt Chamberlain, who holds the record with 50.36 since the 1961/62 season, and Michael Jordan (37.09 in the 1986/87 season) achieved a higher average than “The Beard” in the regular season.
However, Harden is still missing an NBA title in contrast to Durant, who was awarded the Golden State Warriors 2017 and 2018 not only NBA champion, but also twice as Finals MVP. The two-time Olympic champion (2012 and 2016) won his MVP trophy (2014) and four top scorer titles as a Thunder player.
End of career? “Drama” about Kyrie Irving
Irving, in turn, won the 2016 NBA alongside megastar LeBron James with the Cleveland Cavaliers. After the lost final in 2017 – this year he also made the claim that the earth was flat – the Olympic champion then ended up in a trade with the record champions Boston Celtics, where he was more noticeable for constant injuries than good performances and also for caused a bad mood in the team. After his contract expired, he then joined Durant in the summer of 2019 and signed with the Nets.
Three of the 20 highest-paid basketball players in the world now play at these: Harden collects more than 41 million US dollars (around 34 million euros), Durant around 40 million (33 million euros) and Irving over 33 million . (27.5 million euros). If this trio comes through the year without injuries and conflicts, then the title will be difficult to take away from the Brooklyn team.
The biggest risk factor remains Irving, who is currently causing “drama” with his recent absence and the birthday party video. ESPN expert Stephen A. Smith even suggested the current best “ball handler” in the NBA to resign. “If basketball is no longer important enough to him, then he should stop,” said Smith on Wednesday, just before Harden’s move became official.
Text which: © LAOLA1.at
NBA: James Harden joins the Brooklyn Nets from Houston
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