Brooklyn’s Big 3 officially became All-Star 3, when James Harden was named in the March 7 All-Star Game to include Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving.
This is the first time the Nets have made three All-Stars in a single season.
Durant and Irving were chosen as the starters, and Harden would head to Atlanta as a reserve, edited by Irving in a poll between Eastern Conference guards. But given Hardik’s brilliant game since joining the Nets, he is as close to being an MVP contender as he was being an All-Star snub.
Brooklyn coach Steve Nash said before the official announcement on TNT on Tuesday night, “James, I mean obviously an All-Star, All-World player has brought a lot to our team: leadership, sports and scoring . ” “He is outstanding. We are grateful to him.
It marked the ninth consecutive year that Harden has been named an All-Star, the second-longest active streak of such selections behind LeBron James’ 17. (Durant has been named in the last 11 seasons, which he disappeared after Ellis surgery from 2019-20).
“For the All-Star Game, it is always a blessing. It means you’re doing something right, it means you’re playing very well up to that point, “Harden said on Tuesday to go with 14 assists and 11 rebounds in a 127–118 win over the Kings. Scored 29 points. . “You never want to take the kind of opportunity that is provided. So i am blessed I am fortunate to be a part of our ninth All-Star Game. “
As the leading vote getter in the Eastern Conference, Durant will captain and select Team Durant. He will choose against James in the 2021 NBA All-Star Draft, which will be aired on March 4 at 8 pm on TNT.
With James gaining the top spot in the first round (when the start has been selected), that means Durant will get the first choice from the reserve pool. It is difficult to portray a better résumé than Harden, making the case for another MVP trophy.
Since joining the Nets in a four-team mega-trade, Harden scored 24.9 points on white-hot 50.2 percent shooting on Tuesday and 41 percent from deep overall. But more than his own crime, he has made everyone better.
He saw a Brooklyn team that struggled on the glass, so he averaged 8.3 rebounds for a career-high pace. He has committed an elite offense and made it historic, handing over a league-high 11.4 assist – on pace for another career-best.
He said, “I don’t want that to be any less, because I am expecting this; You have seen him play many times, ”said Nash. “I’ll say this: It’s even more impressive when he’s on your team and he’s throwing in step-back 3s at crunch time. It’s a beautiful thing to be in your arsenal.
“I would say, though, what is more for me, here is working with him, his leadership, his attitude, his commitment. A total supporter, and he is such an important piece, not only on the floor, but the way he is in this group. Has been a leader of. For me, I didn’t know what to do, and it’s amazing to see what kind of leader and professional he is. “
That leadership is made clear that Hardik is not only helping Brooklyn survive, but thrived in Durant’s lack of a five-match injury. The Nets are 13–5 when Harden plays, and 5–1 when he starts with Durant and Irving.
“He is a very ready passer. He is a smart player. They said it goes, ”said Landry Shamet. “He understands what defenses try to do most of the time, and is a man who wants to involve others because he understands the value not only of himself but of the rest of the team.
“It’s playing with him. He is a good leader, a good communicator, and we are still growing. There is much room left for us to grow and develop. But he did very well. “
The Nets have had no more than two All-Stars since Julius Irving, with Larry Kennon, Billy Poulz and Brian Taylor returning in 1974–75. But that was when he was in the ABA and in the midst of a nomadic existence. This Big 3 promises a different level … and a shot at an NBA title.