Nets’ Kyrie Irving speaks out on James Harden joining Sixers: ‘I respect his decision’


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The Brooklyn Nets and Philadelphia 76ers will meet for the first time on Thursday since the blockbuster trade involving James Harden and Ben Simmons.

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Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving (11) looks to pass the ball between Golden State Warriors forward Andrew Wiggins (22) and guard Stephen Curry during the first half of a game in San Francisco on January 29, 2022 .
(AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

Nets star Kyrie Irving recently spoke about the trade, saying he was at peace with his former teammate’s decision to seek a trade from Brooklyn.

“If that’s what James wanted, then I respect his decision, and that’s exactly what it is. I wish him nothing but peace and love. We have a great friendship, but it didn’t work,” Irving said after his 50-point performance over the Charlotte Hornets, via ESPN.com.

James Harden (1) of the Philadelphia 76ers calls out a teammate during the first half against the New York Knicks on February 27, 2022 in New York City.

James Harden (1) of the Philadelphia 76ers calls out a teammate during the first half against the New York Knicks on February 27, 2022 in New York City.
(AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

NET, 76ERS MEET AFTER SIMMONS-HARDEN TRADE

Before the Nets traded Harden, he would have made his displeasure with Irving clear. Irving was only able to play in road games this season because he was not vaccinated. Irving said he wanted Harden to give a specific reason why he wanted to leave the Nets,

“I wish things were better communicated for all of us as men. But hey, no hard feelings here with me or anyone else,” Irving said.

James Harden (13) of the Brooklyn Nets attempts to pass Ben Simmons (25) of the Philadelphia 76ers on February 6, 2021 in Philadelphia.

James Harden (13) of the Brooklyn Nets attempts to pass Ben Simmons (25) of the Philadelphia 76ers on February 6, 2021 in Philadelphia.
(AP Photo/Matt Slocum, File)

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Since the Harden trade, the Nets are 4-7 in 11 games, and they are the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference. The Sixers are 5-0 with Harden in the lineup and 8-2 overall since the trade.

Simmons would not play in Thursday’s game against the 76ers.


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