James Harden is a Brooklyn Net. God bless the NBA.
All that talk about how the TV ratings cratered in the bubble, how social justice issues ruined the experience for so many — you telling me you’re going to miss the Kevin Durant-Kyrie Irving-James Harden Show the next few months?
You’d be missing out, kid.
And that goes for both sides of the argument.
If you’re a bandwagon specialist who just wants to hop on the coolest and shiniest toy, the KD-Kyrie-Beard trio is all yours. Start wearing the colors around town — but first, you have to find out what the Brooklyn Nets official colors are.
(Anyone know? Wait, I looked it up. Since 2012, the official colors are black and white. How appropriate, given the way they divide opinion now. I’m old enough to remember the red, white and blue of the New Jersey Nets, as I was just saying to my good friend, Bernard King.)
And if you’re someone who likes to root against the bully, it’s perfect also. The Nets are now everyone’s favorite villain. I’d call them greedy and fat, but that might cut too close to the bone for James Harden, who appears to have spent time recently studying game film over sizable plates of nachos.
The drama won’t just stay on the court, either. Each of these three superstar gents has a history of creating a stir with moody behavior. While Warrior fans know and appreciate the mighty talents of Durant — including in the community, where he made a difference — we also know that sometimes the gray cloud can appear. Harden, while a prolific scorer (and flopper), failed the kindergarten sharing class with both Chris Paul and Russell Westbrook while in Houston.
And Kyrie? After crying his way out of Cleveland and Boston, my goodness — the Nets haven’t seen him in a week! What the . . . ?
My only regret is that the pandemic has prevented the rabid New York media from descending on the drama every night. Nothing like New York tabloids to roil an already roiling situation, as I was just saying to my good friends James Dolan and Charles Oakley. Bummer.
Also juicy — the fact that this is not a fait accompli that the Nets will win the NBA title.
For starters, they’re a starter-heavy team. Losing Caris LeVert and Jarret Allen means losing two of their top five minutes guys and scorers. Yes, the Nets will score — hey, Joe Harris is wide open! — but can they play defense in May and June? Harden and Irving have never been mistaken for Klay Thompson or Kawhi Leonard when it comes to getting in a stance.
The East has some worthy foes. The Boston Celtics are watching Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown *arrive*, and Marcus Smart is waiting to get up in you when you cross half court. The Philadelphia 76ers are getting a monster year from Joel Embiid, and have six players averaging double digits. The Milwaukee Bucks added gamer Jrue Holiday to Giannis’ Christmas tree. And never discount the darlings of the bubble, the Miami Heat. Spoelstra’s soldiers will surely take the court with a Pat Riley-infused fury.
And if the Nets get out of the East? Why, hello there, LeBron.
Villains everywhere, sports fans.
And if we want to keep it local? How about a 2021-22 challenge from Steph, Draymond, the comet that is James Wiseman and the return of everyone’s favorite kayaker, Klay Thompson?
Like I said — God bless the NBA. This is going to be a blast, no matter which side you’re on.
For the record, I’m anti-Net. Sorry, KD. Kyrie makes ‘em hard to love. And it’s more fun that way.