Kyrie Irving Rekindles James Harden Drama as Kevin Durant’s Absence Still Makes Him Optimistic: “Consistently in the Lineup”

Published 01/16/2023, 3:10 PM EST

USA Today via Reuters

NBA superstar Kyrie Irving recently took a sly dig at former Brooklyn Nets teammate James Harden. There has been no shortage of drama within the Nets’ organization in the past couple of seasons. The Nets had a poor start to the season with all the controversy surrounding Irving’s actions on social media. Then they parted ways with head coach Steve Nash and promoted assistant coach Jacque Vaughn as the new head coach. Meanwhile, Kyrie Irving has recently made a sly dig that could rekindle a closed chapter from the previous year.

With all the controversy and drama, very little was expected from the team this season. However, the Nets have been playing great basketball in the past few months and racking up wins. They had won 18 of their 20 games before Kevin Durant’s injury. But the Nets superstar’s recent injury has now come as a huge cause for concern for the squad.

Kyrie Irving rekindles James Harden drama in Kevin Durant’s absence


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Kyrie Irving and the Brooklyn Nets have lost both games during Kevin Durant‘s absence. Last season when KD went out injured, the Nets lost 11 straight games. During his absence, the Nets dropped from the #1 seed in the Conference to play-in territory. However, Irving is confident that the team can bounce back and believe Durant’s absence might not hurt the team as much because he has been consistently playing. Furthermore, he also took a dig at James Harden’s lack of commitment during his time with the Nets.

According to reports from Alex Sturm of Nets Daily, Irving said, “Well I’m consistently in the lineup, that helps. We also don’t have anyone who is halfway in in the locker room.” 


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Looks like, Irving is still resentful of Harden for leaving the Nets. However, after last year’s first-round sweep at the hands of the Boston Celtics, there were reports that Durant was unhappy and wanted to leave the Nets. KD and The Beard were even seen partying together.


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Also, there were suggestions that Irving could be on the move as well. But things have cooled down since then and the Nets find themselves at the #2 spot in the Eastern Conference now.

The Nets’ superstar trio did not work out

When James Harden, Kyrie Irving, and Kevin Durant joined hands for the Brooklyn Nets in 2020, there were huge expectations. However, Irving missed a lot of games due to COVID regulations. This handicapped the team. Furthermore, injuries to Durant and Harden played a huge role in their downfall.


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The trio could not move past the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals in 2021. Many reports suggested that Harden grew tired of Irving’s antics and wanted a move away. The Nets made a deal with the Philadelphia 76ers for Harden and received Ben Simmons in return.



Bagavathi Eswaran

1114 articles

Bagavathi Eswaran is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. He has been playing the game of basketball for more than 20 years now and has also been following the NBA for more than 10 years. After not being able to go pro, this former college player decided to join the IT industry.

Edited By: Satagni Sikder