When the Brooklyn Nets managed to get Kyrie Irving, James Harden and Kevin Durant on their team at the same time, there were lots of questions about chemistry. How would the three of them end up playing with each other? How would they decide the roles? Could it be done without drama?
The three are still working on that, but Irving revealed they recently got a lot closer to figuring it all out. Following the Nets' 134-117 win over the Golden State Warriors on Saturday, Irving told reporters that he and Harden decided their roles during a quick, drama-free conversation last week.
Irving-Harden conversation 'not mystical'
"We established that maybe four days ago now," Irving said, via ESPN. "I just looked at him, and I said, 'You're the point guard, and I'm going to play shooting guard.' That was as simple as that. It's not a mystical conversation that we had."
"Simple" is not a word anyone expected to hear in relation to a conversation about deciding roles. Harden has been the NBA shooting champion for three seasons running, and is known — rightly or wrongly — for being a ball hog. But he's apparently a willing participant in this setup, and Irving is pleased with how it's been going.
"He's been taking control of the responsibilities and doing an incredible job," Irving said, via ESPN. "It just makes my job easier to just go out and play free and just make plays."
Harden happy to get everyone involved
Harden's taking to his role like a duck to water. He's played 22 games this season and has double-digit assists in 16 of them. He had just had 15 games like that during the entire 2019-20 season. He's up to 11.6 assists per game, the highest mark of his career.
After Saturday night's game, Harden told reporters that he's happy to do whatever needs to be done to make the team as good as it can be.
"I came to this team knowing that they have two special scorers on this team," Harden said, via ESPN. "Obviously, I score when I need to, but as long as I'm getting everybody involved and Ky is getting the shots that he wants, KD is getting the shots that he wants, it's pretty efficient. Offensively is not the problem for us, we can score in bunches; it's defensively. It seems like we're getting a rhythm as of late. We just got to keep it up."
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