Steve Nash isn’t putting too much stock into a report that came out on Tuesday, which raised serious questions about James Harden’s happiness in Brooklyn.
The report from Bleacher Report indicated that Harden has informed people within his inner circle that he is interested in exploring free agency, and that he has grown frustrated with Kyrie Irving’s part-time status, Steve Nash’s rotation and his experience living in Brooklyn. When Nash spoke to reporters ahead of Tuesday’s game against the Los Angeles Lakers, he said he had only just heard about the report.
“I haven’t spoken to him about any of those things,” Nash said. “I’m not sure what to believe. James and I speak all the time and I think we have a great relationship. I’m not sure of the validity of these comments, to be honest with you.”
The Bleacher Report story came on the heels of reports on Monday that Philadelphia was looking to try and bring in Harden over the offseason due to a growing sense he’d be open to going elsewhere. Marc Stein had a similar report a week earlier.
However, the reported frustration from Harden is a new layer to the situation that is only adding to what has been a chaotic year in Brooklyn.
Among the issues raised were Harden’s frustration that Irving can only play on the road because of his vaccination status. That has only been amplified by the injury to Kevin Durant, but Irving has remained steadfast in his decision to not get the jab.
Harden has also taken umbrage with how Nash has utilized “hot-hand closing lineups, rather than a fixed crunch-time unit,” the Bleacher Report article stated. Nash seemed especially surprised by that.
“Whatever that comment is, it seems very strange seeing as though we have different guys available pretty much every other night,” Nash said. “I don’t see James saying a lot of this stuff and I feel like our relationship has been very good. We’ve worked through a lot of things together this year.”
The rumors with Harden are the latest twist to the Nets season, which has been hampered by injuries to Joe Harris and Kevin Durant, COVID and the ongoing saga with Irving and his vaccine stance. Through all of that, Brooklyn has managed to remain among the top teams in the East and entered Tuesday’s game a half a game back of the Miami Heat for first place.