The creation of a new Big Three on the Brooklyn Nets coincided with the Los Angeles Lakers sweeping James Harden’s former team, the Houston Rockets, in back-to-back games at the Toyota Center.
L.A. defeated Houston by double-digits on both occasions, prompting harsh comments from the 2018 MVP. Two days later news of Harden’s trade sent shockwaves across the NBA as he would team up with Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving in Brooklyn’s bid to win the championship this season.
But LeBron James thinks that crediting the Lakers for triggering the blockbuster move is a far-fetched idea. “I don’t think it has much to do with us,” he said.
“I think it has everything to do with how James was feeling. James felt like he wanted to be in a different position, a different situation. He wants to win, he wants to win now, and he felt like his time was over in Houston. That was all it’s about.”
Despite James’ stance, it’s worth nothing Houston also underwent significant changes after being eliminated by the Lakers in the second round of the playoffs last season.
As for Harden’s new tam, Anthony Davis initially offered a very measured assessment of the trade. He first wanted to see how Harden would fit into the Nets team. But the 31-year-old shooting guard instantly figured out the way to complement Durant and Irving, taking on the playmaking responsibilities and thriving in the new role.
Harden has been averaging a career-high 11.8 assists per game, and Davis recently admitted Brooklyn is a serious threat in the battle for the NBA title.
James: Team effort key for Lakers during Davis’ absence
The Nets are visiting the Lakers on Thursday in what could be a preview of the NBA Finals. However, the matchup won’t be an accurate measuring stick considering that L.A. will miss Davis and Brooklyn will play without Durant.
Davis is facing multiple weeks on the sidelines due to an Achilles injury setback and calf strain. James stressed the Lakers need an extra collective effort to cope with the absence of their All-Star.
“Nobody is going to be able to do that because he brings too much to the table, but we all can collectively do more,” he said.
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