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It’s been nearly a year since the James Harden drama ended in Brooklyn and the Nets traded him to the Philadelphia 76ers, but that doesn’t mean he’s a complete afterthought, at least not in Kyrie Irving’s mind.
The Nets are amid what could be a long stretch without Kevin Durant after he suffered a sprained MCL a week ago. When asked about how he sees things moving forward without Durant in the lineup, Irving took a not-so-subtle shot at Harden, who caused all sorts of uneasiness during his short time in Brooklyn.
“I’m consistently in the lineup, that helps,” Irving said. “We also don’t have halfway in anybody in the locker room. And there’s just a primary focus for the big picture here.
“These are warm-up games for the big performance that’s coming late in April. Just got to enjoy them and smile sometimes at how you lose and be able to pick yourself back up.”
There is quite a bit to unpack there, but two things Irving said certainly stand out.
First of all, Irving saying “these are warm-up games” should scare away any sports bettors from being on the Nets for the rest of the regular season.
Secondly, Irving saying he’s “consistently in the lineup” is a straight-up lie.
Irving hasn’t played in more than 54 regular-season games since the 2018-19 regular season. He missed the majority of last season because his local government banned him from playing for making the personal choice of not getting the jab. Nevertheless, that was reality, and he played in only 29 games a season ago.
As far as this season goes, he was suspended for a long stretch for promoting an anti-semitic film on social media.