Last night on the Barclays Center, a shorthanded Brooklyn Nets fell to the Los Angeles Lakers 106-96, the second game in a row that they’ve lost. You may have not noticed it, but the Nets have quietly been on a disappointing run, in the last 15 games, the Nets have gone 6-9. It also didn’t help that, before Tuesday night’s matchup, a report came out that indicated that James Harden does not enjoy living in Brooklyn, which makes sense to me as this current winner has been pretty unbearable, and that he is not pleased with Kyrie Irving’s part-time situation. The report also made it seem as if Harden wanted out of Brooklyn and that his next choice would be the Philadelphia 76ers to join Joel Embiid.
After the loss last night, Harden did admit to being frustrated, but he made it clear that it’s not quite like what the report was saying. “I don’t know about any reports,” said Harden. “Of course I’m frustrated because we’re not healthy, there’s a lot of inconsistencies for whatever reason: injuries, COVID, whatever you want to call it. But yeah, it’s frustrating. I think everyone in this organization is frustrated because we are better than what our record is, and we should be on the way up.”
As nice as that sounds, there is an issue that has to be addressed: the fact that Harden is frustrated. Yes, it is over a temporary issue, but his discontent should be noticed. Obviously, Harden wants to win it all. Harden didn’t join this team to just get eliminated in the second round or to play with one of his all-star teammates only on away games. I already wrote about how the Kyrie Irving situation presents a lot of challenges for the Nets that can get in the way of the team’s goal of winning a championship. Since Harden’s joined the team, nothing has gone the way it was supposed to. With Kevin Durant out with a knee injury until the All-Star game break and Irving only available for away games, Harden has been forced to do all the heavy lifting, the exact thing he left Houston to avoid. Now of course when K.D. comes back, it should fix some of the problems that the Nets are dealing with, but it doesn’t solve everything.