Kevin Durant, James Harden rave about on-court chemistry
Kevin Durant and James Harden have reunited with the Brooklyn Nets and it feels so good, as evidenced by the superstars both gushing this week about their on-court chemistry.
Durant and Harden of course were teammates with the Oklahoma City Thunder from 2009-12. During those three years, Harden played himself into a Sixth Man of the Year nod and the Thunder — with Russell Westbrook also in the fold — climbed out of the league’s cellar to make an appearance in the NBA Finals.
Durant was hesitant to discuss the reunion with Harden as word broke last week about a blockbuster four-team trade that granted the disgruntled star’s wish to join his former teammate and Kyrie Irving on the Nets.
Now that the Durant-Harden-Irving era is well underway in Brooklyn, Durant disputed any notion that Harden’s arrival could lead to chemistry issues following Monday’s 125-123 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks.
Is Kevin Durant surprised that him and James Harden can play well together so quickly in Brooklyn?— Nets Videos (@SNYNets) January 19, 2021
"Absolutely not." pic.twitter.com/gE77fK2HrN
Kevin Durant credits IQ as the biggest area of improvement since him & James Harden last played in OKC together: pic.twitter.com/EAoRuyMyYy— Nets Videos (@SNYNets) January 19, 2021
Harden, meanwhile, gushed about how easy it is to ease himself into the Nets’ lineup thanks to Durant’s singular greatness.
“I sit back and I know what player Kevin Durant is. He’s one of the best players to ever touch a basketball,” Harden set after Monday’s win, via the New York Post. “He’s God-given 7-foot, can do everything. So for me it’s not trying to compete with that; it’s allowing Kevin to be the best Kevin he can be, and I’m going to make sure I can make him better and make my teammates better. At the end of the day that’s all that matters.”
When chatter surrounding a potential deal between the Houston Rockets and Nets involving Harden was at a fever pitch last month, there was an abundance of skepticism that such a move would pay off for Brooklyn.
The belief at the time was that pairing Harden, KD and Irving was a horrible idea. The notion that those three mercurial personalities could coexist on the court without serious issues erupting was legitimately called into question.
What’s more, it was also suggested by one outspoken NBA analyst that watching the three superstars attempt to function without friction under the white-hot New York media spotlight could turn out to be nothing short of a unmitigated disaster.
As things stand early on, the pairing of Harden and Durant could not have gotten off to a better start.
Also according to @EliasSports , Durant and Harden are the first teammates ever to both score 30+ points in each of their first two games together with a franchise.— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) January 19, 2021
Granted, things could go sideways pretty quickly given this collection of enigmatic personalities, which of course includes the unpredictable Irving. So long as the Nets continue to win, however, the odds of a meltdown presumably are greatly diminished, at least in theory.