Please Make James Harden To Brooklyn Happen

The new Big 3.

Jim Rome
November 18, 2020 - 9:30 am
Kyrie Irving, James Harden

USA Today

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It seemed like a joke when it was first came. Or an internet hoax. Or some or some moron pretending to be an NBA insider with a fake internet account, dropping some bomb looking to see how many people he could hook. I’m talking about the James Harden to Brooklyn Nets angle. I’m talking about James Harden playing with Kevin Durant. I’m talking about James Harden playing with Kyrie Irving. I’m talking about James Harden playing with Kevin Durant AND Kyrie Irving.

Again, when it first came up, it sounded like the dumbest thing ever. It sounded like bullcrap, clickbait. Just something manufactured by some d-bag looking to get likes on their feed.

And when they aren’t posting made up trade reports, they’re putting up old highlights with the captions like “Tom Chambers was a problem” and then dopes get into arguments in the comments about whether Tom Chambers would succeed in the modern NBA. By the way, Chambers was a stud. And he absolutely would have a place in today’s game. 

I digress…So when James Harden to the Nets first surfaced, I ignored it. Because I knew it was just some idiot jerking everybody’s chain. Don’t get me wrong, I would love for it to be a real thing. Because what would be better? Nothing. But as always if something seems too good to be true, it’s because it generally is. Except this isn’t. This is a real thing. And while anything but a lock, this could actually happen.  

Now, I don’t want to make this about me. Because that’s never my deal. But let’s go ahead and make this about me. I don’t ask for much. In fact, I don’t ask for anything: only that you have a take, and don’t suck. And don’t bring personal appearance smack to the show. Or bum smack. Or fat smack. Other than that, I never ask anyone for anything.  I’m good. I really don’t want anything. Except. Except for James Harden to run alongside KD and Kyrie. I admit it. I want that. In fact, I want more than I’ve ever wanted anything in the world. You might say, hey now, hold Rome, didn’t you want, weren’t’ you obsessed with seeing an NFL team run the table backwards. I mean, sure. I guess. Sort of.  Maybe. But not like I want this. I’ve never wanted anything in or out of sports as much as I want James Harden running with KD AND KYRIE. Because it would be incredible. And the incredible things, in an “only in 2020” way, it seems kind of real. 

There was the report from ESPN that Harden turned down a two-year extension that would’ve kept him in Houston until 2025. It would’ve been worth $103 mill, making him the first $50 mil per year player.

On the one hand, if you’re turning down $103 mill right now, it seems like you really want out. On the other hand, Harden has to know that’s not a one-time only deal. That money will still be there later if he decides he wants to stay.

And again, it’s not just Harden who reportedly wants out, Russell Westbrook wants out as well. Which yet again raises the question – what has happened to the Rockets? It wasn’t that long ago that they only thing that stood between the Rockets and an NBA title was Chris Paul’s hamstring.  ecause they had a transcendent Warriors team on the ropes in 2018. That was not that long go. And today, they’re ripping apart. And in a really difficult spot, with not one, but two Hall of Famers wanting out. And their head coach and GM already gone.

And by the way, if you’re Harden and you recognize that you’re 31 years old and on a team that isn’t built to compete for an NBA title, why wouldn’t you be looking around? Why wouldn’t you want to see what’s out there?

And that’s before we get into any personal issues that might exist in the organization.

According to ESPN, the Rockets know they’re in an awkward spot but they are "willing to get uncomfortable" for a while. In other words, they won’t be pressured into trading Westbrook or Harden. Just because Harden and Westbrook want out, doesn’t mean they have to accommodate them. And they are under contract. 

That’s cool. I get that. But how about this? Just trade James Harden to the Nets.

How you get comfortable with that! And if you really are locked into being uncomfortable, that’s cool too: I’ll give you something that will make you uncomfortable: you’re sending Harden to the Nets and you will not in any way get fair value for him once you do it. That is an unwinnable trade for the Rockets. No way they make that deal and NOT get worked. If Jrue Holiday to the Bucks was worth two players and three first round picks and two pick swaps, what the hell does James Harden get you?

Five players and a billion first round picks? And completely worked. But this isn’t about you. It’s not even about Harden. It’s about ME. And the rest of us. You make that trade, and you lose that trade, but you do so knowing it’s a huge win for the rest of us.

And James Harden playing with Kevin Durant does make sense. They’re friends, they’ve played together in OKC. According to reports, Harden thinks very highly of Durant.  That’s a fact. Now let me give you another fact. Kyrie Irving thinks very highly of Kyrie Irving.

And that’s why it would be awesome. And amazing. And incredible. Legendary. Hell, maybe the best thing ever. A four-time scoring champ and a three-time scoring champ teaming up would be legendary. And the best part is, that the guy with zero scoring titles would thing he’s the alpha. Would think that he’s option number one. Would think the only reason the other two are even there is because they want to play with HIM. That the reason things didn’t work out with LeBron and Kyrie is because Kyrie was so much better than bron, and bron knew it and couldn’t live with it. 

The only cliché is there is only one basketball. And that would never be more true than on a team that has Kevin Durant, James Harden, and Kyrie Irving.

If Kyrie didn’t like being Robin to LeBron’s Batman, how is he going to like being Alfred the Butler to KD and Harden?

Let me answer that for you: terribly. And if Durant didn’t like Draymond Green jawing with him in Golden State, how’s he going to like it when Irving starts that in Brooklyn?

Don’t get me wrong. The basketball experience on the floor would be incredible, at times. But when it goes wrong, as it always does with Kyrie that would be even more incredible.

And don’t tell me that KD and Kyrie are professionals and they would just shut out the noise. Hell no. That is not how they’re wired. Not only does KD not shut out the noise, he welcomes it. My man has unbelievable rabbit ears.

As Ethan Strauss has pointed out in the past, some stars in the league will get angry with a reporter over a headline, but never actually read the article. “Not KD. He reads everything and takes issue with specific sentences and phrases. A few in particular had inspired his ire, or so I heard.”

This is a guy who spent a good chunk of his time with Golden State believing that the local media loved Steph Curry more than they loved him. He was ticked that Maurice Speights was more popular and accepted by Warriors fans than he was. He was bothered that Speights had the nickname “Mo Buckets.”  This is the kind of crap that KD lets infect his dome and get his under his skin. 

If he’s getting worked up about Mo Buckets as a nickname, how the hell is it going to go when Kyrie does what Kyrie does and starts complaining to the media? Or starts trying to be the general manager of the team? Or gets his own nickname. Or the fans there like some dude at the end of bench more than they like him.

KD was the prickliest guy in the Western Conference and then he joined up with Kyrie, the prickliest guy in the Eastern Conference. And then you throw in the guy who does the mysterious fake nosebleed celebration after he dunks? Hell yes, I want that. I want all of that.

About 20 games into the season when there’s a 2-game losing streak and Kyrie has just gone 6 for 21 from the field, the postgame media sessions will be must-see TV. And the subtweeting will be even better.

Give me the guy who was bent about Mo Buckets, the guy who thinks the earth is flat or that he was really clever when he said the earth is flat, and the guy who said some dumb things about Giannis.

James Harden saying that Giannis is just 7 feet tall and dunks will never not be funny to me. And saying that “takes no skill at all” and "I gotta actually learn how to play basketball, how to have skill” is the best.  Harden might be all time great NBA scorer of the ball, but that was an all-time horrible speaker of the take: an all-time horrible NBA take.  And it cracks me every time I hear it. And now we have the chance of getting him on the same squad as KD and Kyrie?

I don’t just want this Big 3 in Brooklyn, I NEED. We all need it. And more than need it, we deserve it. So give it to us, Houston. You owe it to us. You want to be uncomfortable: great. Then make this trade. Get worked in this trade and give the people want they want: an all-time train wreck. I’d say I’m here for it but that would be the biggest understatement ever:  that doesn’t begin to do justice to how badly I need to this happen.  Get it done. Get it done right now.