Thursday, March 30, 2023

Shaquille O’Neal and Charles Barkley intervene on James Harden’s trade: ‘If he doesn’t win this year, it’s a bust’

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The Rockets and Spurs faced off for the opener of Thursday night’s double title from TNT, so the “NBA on TNT” squad naturally did a thorough analysis of Christian Wood’s strengths and weaknesses with an accompanying film for support analysis.

I laugh. The main conversation between Ernie Johnson, Charles Barkley, Shaquille O’Neal and Kenny Smith was about the blockbuster James Harden commerce.

MORE: Could the Rockets have traded for 76ers star Ben Simmons?

Now ex-Houston guard to join Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving – well, if Irving decides to play – in Brooklyn and try to win his first NBA title as part of the new “Big Three”. It wasn’t exactly a smooth outing for Harden, who flouted the league’s COVID-19 protocols by partying in multiple cities, showed up late for training camp and never expressed his voice. interest in connecting with teammates. (You just have to ask John wall and DeMarcus Cousins about that.)

O’Neal called Harden for saying he had did all he could in houston, noting Harden’s influence on personnel matters and the inability to live up to big games.

“When it comes time to show up, he doesn’t show up,” O’Neal said. “So I know a lot of people in Houston [who are] glad he’s gone. So now he has his little super team. He must win [the championship] this year. If he doesn’t win this year, it’s a bust. Period.”

Barkley then expressed his concerns about Harden and Irving taking on smaller roles to help the team. He believes that only Durant is capable of being more than “me”.

“James Harden and Kyrie Irving never showed me, like, ‘No, I just wanna win. This is the most important thing, “” Barkley said. “You have a guy, KD, he’s selfless. The other two guys haven’t proven to me that they care. [more than] their numbers. I don’t think they’ll make the sacrifice. “

Harden, Durant and Irving all make the top 20 in the all-time ranking for percentage of use, so it will be interesting to see how they deal with being on the floor at the same time. There could be some growing challenges in Brooklyn, but the Nets undoubtedly own one of the most talented teams in the NBA.

Oh, and if you’re wondering how the Rockets-Spurs game went, Houston won their first Harden-less contest with a final score of 109-105. Wood had 27 points and 15 rebounds.


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