James Harden’s Nets debut vs. Magic in jeopardy
The Brooklyn Nets and their fans are anxiously waiting to see James Harden tear it up on the court alongside Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. However, they may have to wait a little while longer as there is a chance that Harden will not start against the Orlando Magic this Saturday, as reported by Ian Begley of SNY TV.
Nets say James Harden’s status for tomorrow vs. Orlando is questionable because the trade is still pending. Team says Kyrie Irving (health and safety protocols) will not play vs. Magic.
— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) January 15, 2021
After being traded, a player has to complete their physical before competing with the team that they were traded to. In Harden’s situation, his physicals are still pending, according to Jeff Zillgitt of USA TODAY Sports and Malika Andrews of ESPN:
Nets coach Steve Nash said it's going to be an adjustment James Harden, given the way he has played with Houston. Said Harden will need to adapt to playing with Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving.
— Jeff Zillgitt (@JeffZillgitt) January 15, 2021
James Harden has completed his physical with Brooklyn, but will not be able to participate in today’s practice, a team spokesperson tells ESPN.
Every player involved in the 4-team trade must complete their physical before Harden can participate in any on-court team activity.
— Malika Andrews (@malika_andrews) January 15, 2021
Since the physical for James Harden has not cleared, his availability for Saturday’s game is questionable, contrary to earlier reports about Harden possibly playing against the Magic.
Nevertheless, when Harden is eligible to suit up for the Nets, his unstoppable scoring abilities paired up with Durant’s incredible offensive talent will give the team a fighting chance to be the best in the league.
According to Andrews, after losing in the bubble to the Lakers, Harden believed that the Rockets did not have a chance to win a title, causing him to ask for trades to teams where he could be successful. He believed that Brooklyn would give him the opportunity to compete for a championship.
It is unsure when Kyrie Irving will return on the court, as his absence from the team has put a lot of pressure on Steve Nash to adapt the offense without one of the best guards in the league to lead it. However, the city of Brooklyn is in safe hands now, as Harden and Durant, and hopefully, Irving, will all soon play together and be an unstoppable force.