For the first time since the blockbuster deal, James Harden spoke to the media as a member of the Philadelphia 76ers.
There were a number of factors that influenced how Harden ended his tenure with the Brooklyn Nets, but ultimately, his Big 3 trio Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving only played a total of 16 games together in a season and a half.
Harden was asked how one variable – Irving’s ability to work part-time – played a role in his decision to leave the Nets, and he admitted it had a slight impact.
“Very minimal,” Harden said at first before explaining myself. “Obviously, (Kyrie) and I are really good friends and whatever he’s been through, or is still going through, it’s his personal preference.
“But it definitely affected the team. Because in the beginning, me, Kyrie and KD on the pitch, winning covered a lot of things. It’s unfortunate that we only played 16 games but it is what it is. being in Philly is an opportunity that I’m looking forward to.”
Harden seemed delighted to be in Philadelphia, starting with pictures of him in his first practice session with the team on Monday.
annotate this. 😀 pic.twitter.com/Dup6pfmGAj
– Philadelphia 76ers (@sixers) February 14, 2022
The 76ers have announced that Harden will be out of the All-Star tournament as he continues to recover from a left hamstring injury that caused him to miss his last four games with the Nets, but the 10-time All-Star did not. can wait. to go to Philadelphia.
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“Initially, when I went through all that I went through in Houston, Philly was my first choice,” Harden said plainly.
“I don’t really want to be in Brooklyn’s situation, but I’ve known for a long time that this is the right match. You have the biggest man in the league in Joel (Embiid). Obviously the coach. .” Just from top to bottom, that makes a lot of sense. I just feel happy and lucky that I am here. “
“Philly is my first choice.” – James Harden pic.twitter.com/1FCgbzFMvj
– NBC Sports Philadelphia (@NBCSPhilly) February 15, 2022
Harden went on to talk about how he can see the team that have hit the net and the talent they’ve got, but that the ultimate goal is to be “the last team standing.”
When asked if he could see a championship this season, he wasn’t shy with his answer.
“That’s right. After the break, it’s time.”
The 76ers will play two more games before halftime – against the hot Boston Celtics on Tuesday, February 15, and the defending champion Milwaukee Bucks on Thursday, February 17 – both games that Harden will miss.
He also plans to miss the All-Star game, but, according to the man himself, he looks set to hit the floor when the break is over.
That means our first chance to see Harden’s potential debut against the 76ers will be on Friday, February 25 at 8 p.m. ET when Philadelphia meets the Minnesota Timberwolves.