GM answers whether Kyrie Irving caused James Harden's frustration with Brooklyn



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GM answers whether Kyrie Irving caused James Harden's frustration with Brooklyn

Brooklyn Nets general manager Sean Marks was asked whether Kyrie Irving's vaccine stance contributed to James Harden's unhappiness in Brooklyn and desire to leave. At the trade deadline, the Nets sent Harden to the Philadelphia 76ers.

Harden wanted out of Brooklyn, Ben Simmons wanted out of Philadelphia so the team's agreed on a trade centered around those two. Irving's available only for road games because he doesn't want to take the vaccine.

"Look, I don't want to speak for James on that," Marks said, when asked whether Irving's decision played a role in Harden deciding he wanted to leave, per ESPN. "That was never explicitly expressed from him.

I think the most frustrated person in this whole thing is Kyrie. I mean, Kyrie is frustrated with the fact that he's not able to be out there. I mean, all our conversations have been like, 'Look I want to be there, I want to be around the team.'

He's obviously hoping for things to look different in the future here and for him to be able to participate in home and road games. So again, there's a factor of a few things. "I probably wouldn't be honest with myself if I thought we weren't all frustrated with the ability that they couldn't be together on the court at one time and that being one of the reasons, sure.

Another is obviously injuries. We've seen Kevin have injuries. We've seen James have injuries. So, there's a lot of factors going into unfortunately why we haven't seen those three together."

The Irving, Harden and Kevin Durant experiment fails

The Nets traded for Harden a year ago, hoping their Big 3 would land them an NBA title.

"Make no bones about it: We went all-in on getting James Harden and inviting him to the group," Marks said. "And these decisions to move on from a player like that, of that caliber, are never easy ones. I just want to be clear that this is not something that you think, great, let's just make a split decision and move on from that.

I give James a lot of credit for having open dialogue, open discussions with me and with the group, [Nets coach Steve Nash] and [owner] Joe Tsai and everybody over the last 24, 48 hours. "Again, I said they're not easy, but I think that's something we pride ourselves on is being open and honest.

James was honest with us and we were honest with him. I think it's a move that enables him to have a fresh start, enables this team to have a fresh start, without trying to push things to make things work. "If we realize this is not going to work, short term or long term, then it's time to say for both parties involved, this is better off."