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#pounditWednesday, August 10, 2022

Report details ‘cold war’ between Kevin Durant, James Harden

Kevin Durant dribbles down the court

Kevin Durant was one of the main proponents of James Harden forcing his way out of Houston to join the Brooklyn Nets, but the situation did not play out the way Durant envisioned it would. If Durant thought his relationship with Harden was salvageable, the two would likely still be teammates.

Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report published a piece on Tuesday that examined Durant’s role in the trade that sent Harden from Brooklyn to the Philadelphia 76ers. As one source described it to Fischer, Durant and Harden were locked in a “cold war” for several months that “made everyone miserable.”

The Nets reportedly would not have made the trade with Philly if Durant disapproved of it. Durant wanted to make things work with the Big Three that he pushed to assemble, but he knew Harden wanted out. K.D. was also said to be disappointed with Harden’s level of commitment to the team dating back to the offseason.

According to Fischer, Durant was disheartened by Harden’s conditioning when the Nets began training camp over the summer. The two also never worked out together until they were required to. There were reportedly some awkward moments during practice, such as when Nets coaches noticed Harden would roll his eyes when plays were designed for Durant. Head coach Steve Nash and Durant had a vision for Brooklyn’s offense that was different from the iso-ball Harden wanted to play.

Durant was also supposedly skeptical of the seriousness of Harden’s injury when Harden began sitting out with hamstring tightness earlier this month. An MRI did reveal inflammation, however.

Durant has dealt with injuries of his own again this season, and that may have been a source of frustration for Harden.

Harden wanted out of Brooklyn, though he was careful with the way he expressed it. All of the aforementioned issues help explain why Durant did not make an effort to change his former teammate’s mind.

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