MIAMI —Star He doesn't miss his former teammate owes him an explanation as to why he wanted to leave the organisation.
Harden was at the center of a huge trade that took place to theThursday, the sent , , The Nets will also be receiving two future first-round selections.
Durant stated that James doesn't need to explain anything to anyone before Saturday's match against the. “He is his own man. He decides what his career path is. He doesn't owe anyone an explanation and I didn't look for one.
“I'm glad we got this done, and now we can move forward and remove some of the noise. I'm sure he'd feel the same. There is a lot of noise around our team and our group about what might happen. That's why I'm happy we can get through it.
Harden stated that he believed the Nets would win the title this season even though it was only a week and half ago. But his tone has changed as he sought to reunite with Daryl Morey who was his former general manager.Now, he is the president of basketball operations for the Sixers.
Durant for his part wouldn't accept the theory that Harden tried to keep him away. He also said that there was nothing he could do to influence Harden's decision.
Durant said, “I believe once a person makes that decision of I'm unhappy' then he's been through a lot of steps.” No matter how much I try to convince anyone — I'm not saying that I did it, but this is my theory. I believe that no matter how many times I try to persuade someone to change their mood, from unhappy to happy, that's when they're really late.
“He's made his choice. I think people decide before they reach that point of being unhappy. James was the only person I spoke to up until that point. Everything was perfect to me. I don’t need convincing. I am sure that you will make these choices and decisions for yourself as an individual. As a friend, it's okay to accept it.”
Durant claimed that he did not know Harden was unhappy about the Nets, until news broke this week that Harden wanted out of Brooklyn. Durant hasn’t been in the team the past few days as he continues his rehabilitation from a sprained left MCL sustained on Jan. 15. The second half of Thursday’s loss to theDurant's first appearance on the team's bench since his injury was this year.
Durant stated, “I was not around the team to really, truly see the vibe.” “But I understand the losses hurt us and I know that my injury may have hurt the team a little.” Kyrie [Irving]The lineup is always changing. However, I was not there to really get a feel of the team.
Irving is currently not allowed to play in home games as he is not yet vaccinated against COVID-19. Durant was asked if Irving's part time status had any impact on Harden's decision not to trade. Durant replied, “I wouldn’t know.”
Durant said that “there's going to be rumors.” “Kyrie is an easy scapegoat, especially for media and fans. He loves to be used as a scapegoat in a lot of situations. It's easy for him to be blamed, but it's hard to imagine how James feels. That's what I suspect a lot will say about him.”
Durant was also unable to answer questions about the impact Irving's decision to not get vaccinated had on the company.
Durant stated, “That's difficult to gauge.” “I have not spoken to everybody about it. As far as basketball, we are all professionals. We know what it's like to not have a man in the lineup. So our jobs, what we do, and how we function as individuals, no matter who's there, won't change. We all approach our jobs the exact same way, although I'm sure there are some who wish it was different.
“But everyone's spirits, when Kyrie wasn’t here and when he was there… there hasn’t been any change to the atmosphere, mood or culture. Everything has been wonderful.”
The Nets came into Saturday's game after losing 10 straight. They remain confident that Simmons Curry, Drummond, and Drummond can fit in the team's framework. But, it remains to be seen when Simmons will take part in a Nets game. Durant was asked if he believes the Nets can still win a title. He said that he does not view a season from this perspective.
Durant stated, “I don't really see the year that way to be honest.” We had talent. Many teams have talent and the goal is to win a championship. There are steps that we need to take to reach our goal. We've been in a pause due to injury and now we have to include Ben and bring our team back together.
“So before I think about the championship I'm just trying get us all onto the floor to get some reps. That's what is most important.
A combination of injuries and Irving's inability to get vaccinated, Irving and Durant were unable to play together for the Nets during the past two seasons. They went 13-3 in the games played before Harden's trading ended the Nets' short-lived Big Three experiment. Durant indicated that he didn’t want to spend too much time imagining the possibilities if Harden hadn’t left.
Durant stated, “I don't care about what happened.” Durant said, “It was a good basketball game. I can accept what happened.” Outside noise and all the other stuff that happened…but once we actually put on our shoes and played basketball together, it was a good branding. You could live with that.