When general manager Sean Marks and the Brooklyn Nets front office completed a blockbuster trade to land nine-time All-Star James Harden last January, it set Brooklyn up to have perhaps one of the most talented trios in NBA history. Adding Harden to an already explosive duo of Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant meant having three of the league’s most explosive offensive talents and most thought they would cakewalk to the franchise’s first NBA Finals berth since their relocation to Brooklyn.
For much of the season, most fans expected to get an explosive NBA Finals matchup between the Nets and the then-defending NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers. Unfortunately, injuries to both the Lakers and Nets derailed any chance of basketball fans getting their dream NBA Finals matchup as both teams were eliminated before the conference finals.
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Kendrick Perkins Says Lakers Have Better ‘Big 3’ Than Nets
For the Lakers, their elimination was a lot more concerning than that of the Nets. Brooklyn was down two superstars and was literally inches away from defeating the eventual NBA champion Milwaukee Bucks in 7 games. Although the Lakers were without Anthony Davis, it was clear that their roster as currently constructed was not one built to compete for an NBA title. The Lakers were eliminated by the Phoenix Suns in the first round, something that had never happened in LeBron James’ Career.
It was clear that changes were coming to the Lakers roster, and their front office did not even wait until the start of free agency to make a splash. The Lakers traded Kyle Kuzma, Montrezl Harrell, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, and the Number 22 draft pick to the Washington Wizards in exchange for All-Star point guard Russell Westbrook on NBA Draft night.
Los Angeles now has a big three of LeBron, AD, and Westbrook to combat the firepower of the KD, Kyrie, and Harden Nets trio. Once again the stage has been set for a Lakers and Nets Finals and Durant’s former Oklahoma City Thunder teammate Kendrick Perkins thinks that this time around the Lakers have the upper hand over the Nets.
“The Lakers,” Perkins said of who has the better ‘Big 3’ between the Lakers and Nets on a recent episode of ESPN’s Get Up! “LeBron James and his IQ, him and Anthony Davis are the best dynamic duo since Kobe and Shaq.”
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Kevin Durant Becomes Team USA Men’s All-Time Leading Scorer
Even though the NBA offseason is in full effect, Durant is still breaking basketball records in his spare time. In Team USA’s 119-84 victory over the Czech Republic, KD scored 23 points to surpass Carmelo Anthony and become Team USA men’s basketball’s all-time leading scorer. It’s an accolade that Durant doesn’t take lightly given all of the greats that have come before him.
“You just think about all the players that have played in this program, It’s pretty cool to be amongst names like that. Carmelo is a guy that I played on two Olympic teams with, and I’ve seen his approach to these games and I’ve tried to steal some of his techniques,” Durant said after the win per NetsDaily.
“It’s still pretty weird for me to do stuff like this because I play a team sport, and I try my hardest to make it about the group. But it is special to do something like that. Scoring is something I’ve worked on my whole career and expanded my whole career. To consistently do it is pretty cool.”
Once again the Nets and Lakers are set up to have one of the best NBA Finals in league history in 2022. However, If last season taught basketball fans anything it is that nothing is a guarantee.