The consensus view is unsure and rarely gives Harden the benefit of the doubt. Instead, it seemingly regresses on a year-by-year basis; for the past three seasons the Houston Rockets, more-or-less, were remodified over and over again but haven’t been able to get over the hump.
The 2018 Rockets team that had the champion Golden State Warriors in a 3-2 hole in the Western Conference Finals was the peak of Harden’s success in Houston. One max, four-year, $171 million deal and two point guards – in Chris Paul and Russell Westbrook – later, and Harden wants out.
Following in Westbrook’s footsteps, Harden reportedly requested a trade and says he would like to join forces with Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, which sparked an interesting reaction from former Celtics Hall of Fame shooting guard Ray Allen, who was asked to weigh in on the potential new ‘Big 3’ that could form in Brooklyn.
Why Ray Allen Isn’t Sure James Harden Will Fit in Brooklyn
“If you look at Kyrie… Harden, if this happens, and then Kevin Durant, it’s going to be extremely difficult for them to get along together,” Allen said. “Personality-wise they might be great, but then on the court, it could cause trouble or patterns, which ultimately could affect their relationship if they don’t decide that they want to win, and scoring and having the ball in their hands does not matter to them.”
Allen makes a fair point. For two guys in Durant and Irving; who rely heavily on having the ball in their hands in order to produce offensively, Harden doesn’t make things any easier. Last season, Harden averaged 21.7 field goal attempts per game, ranked third in the league to only his teammate Russell Westbrook (21.8) and Washington Wizards shooting guard Bradley Beal (22.8).
“Between the three of them; KD did it in Golden State, so he understands a little bit of what the personalities can be like if they go awry,” Allen said. “But it’s the most difficult thing that you have to do. Winning the championship in ’08 was the most difficult thing that I ever had to do.”
Ray Allen On Potential James Harden, Kevin Durant & Kyrie Irving ‘Big 3’ In Brooklyn: ‘It Could Be A Train Wreck’
It’s no secret that out of Boston’s ‘Big 3’ Allen was the one who sacrificed the most compared to Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett. All three were accustomed to being a team’s No. 1 option, however, naturally, the three made it worked and it led to a five-year run that resulted in two trips to the NBA Finals, three Eastern Conference Finals appearances, and a championship in 2008.
“There’s a responsibility that comes with playing the game now and you’re hoping to win a championship,” Allen added. “It’s going to take, specifically Harden, because now you got Kyrie who’s primary a ball-handler, both of them to figure how do we share the responsibility and how do we operate as a team?
“If they’re willing to do that, it could be amazing what they accomplish. But if not, it could be a train wreck.”