James Harden’s outlook on sacrifice with Nets co-stars Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving
The Brooklyn Nets one of the NBA’s most formidable lineups when they acquired All-Star James Harden from the Houston Rockets to pair with Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. However, one concern about the team is that its stars, especially Harden and Irving, need the ball in their hands to be effective.
However, Nets general manager Sean Marks was quick to address these concerns, saying that Brooklyn’s three All-Stars, especially Harden, have made it clear that they will do whatever it takes to win, including making sacrifices on the court, according to Kristian Winfield of the New York Daily News.
Sean Marks says James Harden has said he’s all about winning as it pertains to usage rate and sharing the ball. Marks said Harden, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant all agreed sacrifice is necessary to win big.
— Kristian Winfield (@Krisplashed) January 14, 2021
Last season, Harden ranked third in the league in usage rate behind the Dallas Mavericks’ Luka Doncic and the Milwaukee Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo at 36.5, but he ranks just tied for 17th in the same department this season with a usage rate of 30.9, with Durant ranking 10th at 31.3 and Irving placing 16th with 30.6.
But with the players teaming together in Brooklyn, those numbers will likely go down as head coach Steve Nash will try to balance resting and playing his stars together. Harden, meanwhile, has already shown improvement as a passer this season with the Rockets, averaging 10.4 in his first eight games, his highest assist numbers since the 2016-17 season, when he led the league with 11.2 per game.
The Nets currently have a 7-6 record despite Irving missing their last five games, and will not play until Saturday, when they face the Orlando Magic. Harden and Durant, who were former teammates with the Oklahoma City Thunder, will soon have the chance to prove that they can coexist and make sacrifices like they once did to try to help the team reach new heights.