James Harden says not vaccinating Kyrie Irving played a ‘very little’ role in wanting a trade for the 76ers


James Harden Introduced as a member of Philadelphia 76ers Tuesday morning after it was traded from Brooklyn Networks Ahead of last Thursday’s deadline, the Nets landed a package built around it Ben Simmons On the other hand. In the middle of Harden talks about how excited he is to work with him Joel EmbiidAnd Trained by Doc Rivers We emphatically declare that The Sixers will win the championship this seasonasked about his exit from Brooklyn.

Specifically, Harden was asked about the amount of the role Keri Irving Being vulnerable played into his decision to order a trade from Brooklyn.

“Too little, frankly,” Harden said. “Kerry and I are very good friends, and whatever he’s been going through, or still going through, it’s his personal preference, but it definitely affected the team. The win Kerry and I and KD on the court covered a lot of that stuff. But that was a pity that we We played 16 matches. But in Philly this is an opportunity I am looking forward to.”

So while Irving wasn’t vaccinated and was only eligible for away matches at the moment for the Nets he didn’t play a major role in Harden’s decision, he didn’t quite shut down the idea. He also acknowledged how difficult it has been to put Irving off the hook so far this season, which will likely be felt more in the last few weeks for Harden in Brooklyn. Once Durant fell with an MCL injury in mid-January, Harden was left with as much attacking responsibility in Brooklyn’s half-games as Irving is unable to play in the Nets’ home games due to the city’s vaccine mandate.

Once hardened too He joked about giving Irving the vaccine himself After the duo took control of Chicago Bulls In the win right before Durant fell due to his injury. But while Irving’s not being vaccinated hasn’t been that important to Harden, there are clear ramifications for the net this season, especially now with Durant out. Brooklyn just finished 11-game losing streak and slipped the Eastern Conference standings to eighth, which means they’ll have to compete in the tournament for one of the last two post-season spots. This is clearly not an ideal situation for the Nets who were favorites to win a pre-season championship. With only 25 games remaining and Durant’s return schedule up in the air, the Nets should hope that Irving’s part-time presence – and Simmons’ debut soon – will be enough to propel this team to the top. before the start of the qualifiers.

For Harden and Philadelphia, the roster change should position them as a team that can make it to the Finals, and potentially win it if the Embiid-Harden partnership flourishes like the Sixers envision.

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