Nets: James Harden sounds off on Antoine Walker and All-Star Game

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 27: James Harden #13 of the Brooklyn Nets (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 27: James Harden #13 of the Brooklyn Nets (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images) /

The Brooklyn Nets might have prevented Kevin Durant from playing in the All-Star Game in Atlanta due to a hamstring injury, but the team is still very well represented given the addition of James Harden and Kyrie Irving to Durant’s squad.

Despite the fact that Harden’s numbers put him right in the middle of the MVP race, he hasn’t been able to completely dodge the critics, as Antoine Walker took another dig at Harden’s playing style, saying that playing as he does will not translate to a ton of victories.

The former Celtics star, ignoring the fact that Harden has not been scoring at the same clip that he was totaling with the Houston Rockets, claimed that Harden’s style of play will never equate to winning games. Harden was completely infuriated by what he perceived to be a very lazy take on his game.

Given the chance to respond at this Sunday’s All-Star Game media session, Harden claimed that he “doesn’t pay attention” to anything that is said by someone with “no credibility”, which is a damning indictment of Walker.

Nets star James Harden is no fan of Antoine Walker

The style of play Harden has taken on in Brooklyn, which centers around distributing the ball, getting open jump shots by moving more without the rock, and becoming Brooklyn’s primary defensive rebounder, is much different than the iso-heavy system he was in with the Rockets. Has Walker watched the Nets this year?

The Nets have rocketed up the standings after trading for Harden, with their West Coast swing leaving them just a half-game out of first place in the conference. While Houston never won a title, they were a perpetual presence in the playoffs. Walker’s comments have very little, if any, data to back them up.

Harden wasn’t done giving away some memorable quotes in this press conference, as he claimed that this All-Star game was “forced and thrown upon (NBA players)” amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Considering how Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons have already been ruled out due to COVID-19 protocols, Harden might be right in his assessment.

The NBA had to worry about potential positive tests in the bubble, and their worst fears have become reality.

Harden may not be the most quotable star in the game, but when he chooses to say what’s on his mind, no one is safe. In the course of one press conference, Walker, the All-Star Game, and the league itself have all been targets of his fury.

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