Why Nets Star James Harden Was Featured in Las Vegas Raiders Game [WATCH]

Getty James Harden

James Harden continues to make headlines for a couple of big reasons this offseason.

For one, the Nets star has been the subject of contract extension talks. Will Harden ink a long-term deal with Brooklyn — or will he wait to do so?

There’s also the nine-time All-Star’s progression from the hamstring strain that ailed him during the playoffs last season.

And then there’s… his involvement with the Las Vegas Raiders?

Well, kind of.

Harden made something of a cameo during last week’s Raiders game against the Miami Dolphins at Allegiant Stadium. In the second quarter, Raiders quarterback Derek Carr called an audible at line of scrimmage by saying, “Harden! James Harden!”

The play wound up being a run to the left; Harden, of course, is left-handed.

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Harden Progressing Well From Injury

Harden’s hamstring strain forced him to miss Games 2, 3 and 4 of Brooklyn’s series second-round series against the Milwaukee Bucks, which it eventually lost in seven games as the Bucks went on to win the NBA title.

Harden returned for Game 5 of the series, but it was clear he was playing at less than 100 percent.

Four months later, Harden is progressing well — but Nets coach Steve Nash is preaching patience.

“He’s healthy, but he’s trying to get himself in shape and elevate that,” Nash said, per Brian Lewis of the New York Post. “He hasn’t really played since the Boston series, and before that, he hadn’t played for a long time either. So, he hasn’t played a lot of basketball, period, since the (2020) bubble. It’s been stop-start for him. He still wants to get his legs under him, and then can feel a few new levels for him to go.”

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Harden Asked About Ben Simmons Situation

Harden arrived in Brooklyn after a messy split with Houston. It was clear The Beard had had enough of the Rockets by the time he was dealt to the Nets as the centerpiece of a five-time mega trade.

Still, what Ben Simmons is going through now with the Sixers is not in the same vein, Harden said.

“I stay out of it. That’s not my situation. Mine was totally different. But hey, I’m here in Brooklyn,” Harden said, per SNY. “It was a little uncomfortable for me (leaving Houston) just because I don’t like a lot of attention, especially negative or draining energy. I like to be in a good place. I like to smile and have people around me smiling and good vibes. So, it was kind of a little uncomfortable for me. But I had to go through it and on the other side, I’m happy where I am now. Hopefully, everybody forgot about it. Hopefully, everybody moved on and everybody is great.”

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