Harden ready for 'unselfish' Nets role


Harden ready for 'unselfish' Nets role

Sunday, January 17, 2021

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NEW YORK, United States (AFP) — James Harden said Friday he is confident of fitting in alongside new Brooklyn Nets teammates Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving after completing his blockbuster trade from the Houston Rockets.

The eight-time All-Star stunned the National Basketball Association (NBA) this week after completing a move to the Nets after an acrimonious end to his time in Texas.

Harden's arrival in Brooklyn has sparked talk of a new NBA superteam, with the Nets now looking to challenge the recent dominance of the Milwaukee Bucks in the Eastern Conference.

However, several commentators and former players, including Shaquille O'Neal and Charles Barkley, have questioned whether Harden will be able to work harmoniously with Durant and Irving.

Harden dismissed those concerns on Friday in his first remarks to reporters since completing his trade.

Asked why he thought the mix would be a success, Harden replied: “Chemistry, sacrifice and we're all elite.”

“We're all unselfish, we're all willing passers and we play basketball the right way. That's all that matters.”

Harden cautioned, though, that his arrival was no guarantee of a title.

“I think for me, giving myself a chance [of a title] is very important,” he said. “It's not going to be easy, but with this roster and this coach and this organisation I think we have a chance,” Harden added.

Harden, meanwhile, defended the tirade earlier this week which prompted his rapid exit from the Rockets.

The 31-year-old incensed his Houston teammates after telling reporters he did not believe the team was good enough to challenge for a championship.

Houston's DeMarcus Cousins branded the remarks “disrespectful”.

“I wasn't disrespectful to anyone,” Harden hit back. “Some of those guys had just got there, and I'd been there for a very long time.

“I'd been through all the ups and downs. I wasn't disrespectful. I just made a comment that the team wasn't good enough to compete for a title.”

Nets Coach Steve Nash, meanwhile, is also confident the Durant-Irving-Harden axis can flourish.

“These guys want to win,” Nash said. “And if they really want to win, they'll find a way to play together.”

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