Allow me to reveal the worst-kept secret in New York basketball right now: James Harden wasn't a fan of Kyrie Irving, and the situation surrounding the latter, led to the former being traded out of Brooklyn.

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James Harden is Traded from the Brooklyn Nets

In a blockbuster deal that defined the 2022 NBA Trade Deadline, the Brooklyn Nets shipped James Harden and Paul Millsap to the Philadelphia 76ers. In return, the Nets got two first round picks, former first overall pick Ben Simmons, Steph Curry's brother and Andre Drummond.

Boston Celtics v Brooklyn Nets
James Harden did not play against the Boston Celtics / Getty Images

The Nets get a player that has needed a change in scenery for years now, and one with top draft pick pedigree. Though he likely won't reach the potential of a true No. 1 overall draft pick, he's talented, and could add a strong two-way presence to the lineup. Not for nothing, but Seth Curry is a consistent shooting presence from beyond the arc, and will help to pad Kevin Durant's performance.

On the flip side, however, the Nets lose James Harden, who they paid through to acquire from the Houston Rockets less than thirteen months ago. They lose out on the pièce de résistance on what was supposed to be their championship-winning group.

Atlanta Hawks v Philadelphia 76ers - Game Seven
Ben Simmons has not played since the 2021 NBA Playoffs / Getty Images

Instead, it ended up being a championship-winning tricycle, whose wheels kept falling off before reaching the finish line.

How Kyrie Irving Got James Harden Traded Out of Brooklyn

He never outright said it. I'll give him that.

More specifically, I'm giving credit to James Harden for never saying he doesn't like Kyrie Irving out loud. That being said, it's very clear that he isn't a fan, and he's laid metaphorical bread crumbs down for us to track his growing disapproval in various press conferences this season.

Boston Celtics v Brooklyn Nets - Game One
James Harden, Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving / Getty Images

For example, in reference to Irving as a part-time player, and his desire to have him on the court full-time, Harden once joked:

“I’mma give him the shot." - James Harden

According to a source, in a story reported by the website Real GM:

“Definitely a weird vibe between them,” one source said. “You could tell Harden was annoyed, and Kyrie wasn’t feeling James.” - RealGM

There may have been other factors that drove the Brooklyn Nets' core apart. None of us are in the locker room, in the practice facility, or involved in private conversations away from the team, so we'll never know for sure.

That being said, there were no rumors of strife between the stars of the Nets last season, and the Nets were winning games when Durant and Harden were leading the charge as a duo.

Brooklyn Nets v Philadelphia 76ers
76ers fans were eager for Simmons to be traded / Getty Images

Kyrie Irving returns, Kevin Durant gets hurt, and now James Harden can't wait to leave Brooklyn. It's more than just a coincidence, that's for sure.

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