Harden To Make Nets Debut Saturday Versus Orlando Magic

Jaylen Brown a "Massive Complication" in James Harden Trade

Getty James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets warms up before the game against the Portland Trail Blazers.

After months of trade rumors and speculation, James Harden is set to make his debut as a member of the Brooklyn Nets tonight as his new squad takes on the Orlando Magic. The trade was officially completed on Saturday according to Shams Charania of The Athletic.

Talent Alone Won’t Be Enough for Brooklyn

Between James, Kyrie, and KD the trio has won three NBA championships, seven scoring titles, and two league’s most valuable player awards. Brooklyn’s three stars are way past individual awards at this point in their careers. Understanding that no man is bigger than the team is what will help this team reach their ultimate goal of a championship. Harden emphasized that on Friday. “I think all of us are very, very smart,” James said. “Like I said, we are very unselfish and we know what’s at stake. It’s a matter of coaches putting us in position and us communicating, putting ourselves in positions and spots on the floor where we can be effective and help each other out.”

This isn’t the first time James has played with a talented roster. Some of his past teammates include Chris Paul, Dwight Howard, Russell Westbrook, and Kevin Durant. However, this is James’ first run with a super team. Playing with a surplus of elite players will mean sharing the basketball a whole lot more. The Beard is more than up for that challenge. “We have two elite scorers that the world knows already,” he said to reporters. “My job is to come out here, obviously score the basketball when needed, but my playmaking ability, whether it’s getting our shooters shots, getting our bigs finishes around the rim, and making the entire team better. I think that’s one aspect of my game that will excel in this offense. As long as I’m making my teammates better, it doesn’t matter about the points. I think everybody knows that I can score the ball at a high clip.”

Harden’s Houston Drama Not Concerning for Nash

Harden’s break up with the Houston Rockets was an ugly one which in a sense lead to him having a bad reputation upon his arrival to Brooklyn. Steve Nash who also met with reporters over Zoom on Friday addressed that aspect of acquiring Harden and insists that he isn’t worried at all. “I think James carried that team for many years and gave them everything he had,” Nash told reporters. “Since he asked for a trade, I think that’s a sample size that is fairly irrelevant as far as judging him.” As for how far this team can go in a playoff run, Brooklyn’s head coach knows that is strictly up to the hunger of his three stars. “It’s about how they play together and how willing they are to work and make each other better,” he said. “If they really want to win they’ll find a way to play together”

Harden also addressed the disdain that his former teammates in Houston had with him and his exit. Specifically, Rockets starting center DeMarcus Cousins, who called his actions disrespectful to the team. “I wasn’t disrespectful to anyone,” he told reporters. “Those guys had just got there to Houston; I’ve been there for a very long time. I’ve been through the ups and downs with that organization, and I wasn’t disrespectful toward anyone. I just made a comment that the team as a whole wasn’t good enough to compete for a title. And at the stage of my career where I am now, that’s what I would love.”

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