Kevin Durant discussed James Harden’s decision to push for a trade to leave the Nets.
Kevin Durant reflected on James Harden’s departure from the Brooklyn Nets on Saturday, following the team’s 111-115 loss to the Miami Heat. He downplayed the idea that Kyrie Irving’s vaccination status caused a rift with Harden.
Durant remained adamant that he was unaware Harden was unhappy until the past week when reports began to claim he was seeking a trade.
Durant says that even had he known that Harden was unhappy, he wouldn’t have been able to do much to resolve the situation: “I think once a person gets to that decision of ‘I’m unhappy,’ I think he’s gone through a lot of steps to get there. So no matter what I say or try to convince someone — I’m not saying I did this, but this is just my theory on this — no matter what I say or do to try to convince someone to change their mood from being unhappy to happy, I think that’s when I’m pretty late to the party.
Elsa / Getty Images
The star forward also fielded questions about whether Kyrie Irving’s decision not to get vaccinated for COVID-19 played a role in Harden’s departure. Irving has been unable to participate in Nets’ home games due to New York City’s vaccination mandate.
“There’s obviously going to be rumors about that,” Durant said. “Kyrie has always been an easy scapegoat for everybody, especially for the media and the fans, they love to use him as a scapegoat for a lot of problems. So it’s easy to blame him, but I can’t speculate on how James is feeling. I know a lot of the media will put that on him.”
The earliest game in which Harden could make his Philidelphia 76ers debut will come on Tuesday against the Boston Celtics.