Ahead of the Brooklyn Nets’ first game against the Philadelphia 76ers since trading James Harden, questions were asked of both Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant of the split.
“I thought we were in a good swing, but everybody has their own visions starting off seasons,” Irving said. “Everybody has their own visions starting off their careers and ending their careers. If that’s what James wanted, then I respect his decision and that’s just what it is. I wish him nothing but peace and love. We have a great friendship, but it didn’t work out. I wish things could have been communicated better for all of us as men, but hey, no hard feelings here with me or anyone else.”
Irving noted he believes Harden owed a clearer explanation to some in the organization, but he holds no hard feelings toward him.
“We’re still in the same league,” Irving said. “It’s not like we’re going to see him somewhere different where we’re not going to see him again and we’re not going to see him in the summertime. It’s great for the league to build up things like this, but we have a group in our locker room that we just want to be mature about going into Philly and handling business and then moving on.”
Durant said he isn’t sure if anything could have been said or done differently to make Harden want to stay with the Nets long term.
“I don’t know,” Durant said. “When you look at it from his perspective, and you look up and Ky’s not playing and then I’m injured, he hasn’t won a championship before so he’s looking at — he’s 32 years old, I guess, he’s looking at himself, wanting to make a decision to get on a team that can kind of get into that contending, being one of the last teams standing.
“So if you look at it from his perspective, you could say it is what it is. You can’t really control how somebody feels when they’re thinking like that. Hopefully he stays healthy and their team stays healthy, we stay healthy, we have a great year, they have a great year, and we just move on from this.”