James Harden is this generation’s Dennis Rodman, just without the rings and playing defense.
Since he has been traded, we are now finding out James Harden’s last few days with the Brooklyn Nets involved him traveling to Las Vegas while the team went to Denver to face the Denver Nuggets, according to Bleacher Report’s Jake Fischer.
Harden, who got traded to the Philadelphia 76ers for a package including guard Ben Simmons, missed games against the Utah Jazz and Nuggets with a hamstring injury. It was an injury that Kevin Durant was skeptical about.
“Kevin was like: ‘F–k it. James isn’t bringing s–t,” another figure with knowledge of Brooklyn added. “I don’t think that would have happened without Kevin making that decision.”
Harden and Durant never entered the same gym, and Durant was disappointed by the poor conditioning Harden sported during those early Nets practices.
When Harden first took to the bench with right hamstring tightness, Durant was among the Brooklyn figures who were skeptical of the injury’s severity.
After posting an emphatic 37-point triple-double on 13-of-24 shooting at the San Antonio Spurs on Jan. 21, Harden left the team for Houston and a night of clubbing, B/R has learned. He rejoined the traveling party in Minnesota for a Jan. 23 game against the Timberwolves and scored just 13 points on 13 attempts.
As last year’s regular season wound toward the playoffs, there was some form of miscommunication when Harden was scheduled for morning treatment on his bothersome hamstring, sources said. After another late night out, Harden told Brooklyn staffers his legs felt fine. But after four minutes and 22 seconds of action against the New York Knicks on April 5, he reaggravated the injury that eventually sidelined him against the Milwaukee Bucks in the Eastern Conference semifinals.
Harden didn’t arrive at the Jazz game until halftime, sources told B/R. When it concluded and Brooklyn continued with its planned itinerary to Denver, Harden flew to Las Vegas, sources said.
The short flight from Salt Lake City has made for frequent Vegas getaways for Harden dating back to his Rockets tenure, sources said. He would also stay behind following trips to Los Angeles and meet the team at its next destination.”
This has been a rough year for Harden on the floor as he has shot his worst percentage (41.4) from the field since his rookie year, and he is shooting a career-worst 33.2 percent from beyond the arc. The 10-time All-Star is averaging 22.5 points, 8.0 rebounds and 10.2 assists per game this season.
Just maybe being paired with the dominant force in Joel Embiid can return him back to form.
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