James Harden made his Nets launching Saturday at Barclays Center. And peeling back the layers of this megadeal like layers of an onion, it’s ended up being significantly clear that the losses that drove him from Houston to Brooklyn weren’t simply those in the playoffs, however the losses of head coach Mike D’Antoni and basic supervisor Daryl Morey.
After the Rockets were removed in the NBA bubble in early September, the group parted methods with D’Antoni. The coach who had actually assisted mold Harden into a three-time ruling scoring champ wound up in Brooklyn as brand-new head coach Steve Nash’s assistant and coach. Morey, the GM that brought Harden to Houston, delegated end up being president of the 76ers.
Both guys plainly promoted for a reunion with Harden. And it was D’Antoni who ultimately got him, and will have a humiliation of riches as offending planner to a Big 3 of Harden, Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving.
“Yeah, when Daryl and Mike left I sat back and reevaluated everything. Those are two guys I was very comfortable with and the decision-making for the organization,” Harden stated. “Once they left, I needed to find out is this company entering into a restore phase or were they still attempting to complete at the greatest level.
“[D’Antoni] was a part of it. Mike’s an unbelievable coach. He’s been doing it for a very, very long time. Obviously Mike is a factor. Being comfortable with him being comfortable with Kevin [Durant], knowing Kyrie [Irving], just those four pieces right there made it easy. Obviously them being in Brooklyn, for me it was a no-brainer.”
Much has actually been made from Harden’s failure to have fun with stars Chris Paul, Russell Westbrook and John Wall. With the quantity the Nets have actually invested in their Big 3, the acquisition of Harden is a gamble that might stop working marvelously.
But the guy who coached him last likewise takes place to be Nash’s coach, and has experience with super stars and superteams. And as much as Durant pressed Nets GM Sean Marks and the rest of the front workplace to get Harden, it appears D’Antoni guaranteed him also.
“It is certainly beneficial having Mike,” Marks stated. “It’s somebody who knows James very well and has coached him for the last couple of years, for sure.”
After quiting 4 gamers and 8 draft choices or swaps (after needing to toss in a second-rounder Saturday to finish the trade), this offer is going to specify Marks’ period in Brooklyn.
But it might well stack a lot more pressure on Nash. He most likely listened to D’Antoni — who coached him with the Suns and Lakers — and will choose his brain on how to manage Harden.
“Mike D’Antoni’s experience with him is also extremely valuable for us,” Nash stated. “You put it all together and try to give yourself a leg up when you try to assess and embark on this journey.”
It’s a upper hand that, for much better or even worse, Houston appeared loath to provide Philadelphia. Or more properly, it’s a star who Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta was dead set versus trading to Morey.
There were difficult sensations after Morey left Houston to end up being the Sixers’ president of basketball operations. And though The Post had actually reported that Morey was not enamored of the gamers the Nets used (Caris LeVert, Jarrett Allen and Taurean Prince) for Harden, the Rockets apparently required Ben Simmons, Matisse Thybulle, 2 draft choices (and perhaps Tyrese Maxey) to think about dealing Harden to Philadelphia.
The 76ers were so sure they had a offer done and cleaned that both Simmons and Thybulle were informed by their representatives on Wednesday of an anticipated trade, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer. But after Marks made his pitch, Houston never ever called the 76ers back for a counteroffer.
The Rockets basically played the 76ers to get the very best deal they might from Brooklyn — which was where Harden was bound and identified to wind up.
“Yeah, they were on top of my list,” Harden stated. “But there were a few other teams involved as well; it could’ve gotten crazy. … As bad as it might’ve looked from the outside, internally they worked with me and made sure I ended up here.”