James Harden has said and done almost all of the right things since being traded to the Brooklyn Nets in mid-January.
The eight-time All-Star and 2018 MVP quickly got on the same page with Kyrie Irving about who would be Brooklyn’s point guard and who would serve as shooting guard. He expressed regret for how his messy breakup with the Houston Rockets unfolded. And he’s thrust himself into the MVP conversation as the Nets’ floor general by regularly posting triple-doubles.
And then there’s the leadership Harden has exhibited. On Sunday night against the Los Angeles Clippers, it once again came in the form of Harden calling out the team’s center.
Harden Calls Out DeAndre Jordan
Toward the end of the first quarter Sunday, DeAndre Jordan got into a squabble with a referee. After a brief exchange, Harden lightly pushed Jordan back so the two could have a brief one-on-one chat.
Harden talking to DJ here really shows how much of a leader he is pic.twitter.com/ERXlbi5Ex6
— Talkin’ Nets (@TalkinNets) February 22, 2021
Earlier, Harden was seen shouting at Jordan, who has mixed solid play with lackadaisical efforts throughout the season. Earlier Sunday, it was more of the latter — and fans on Twitter took notice.
James Harden is PISSED at Deandre Jordan.
— Leb 🦋 (@PlayboiClaxton) February 22, 2021
Lmao Harden treating Jordan like Lebron used to treat Kevin Love 😂
— HANDSOME (@JUSTDOITSULLEY) February 22, 2021
Bro every time I watch a nets game, I see harden bitching deandre Jordan 😅
— No longer a troll, Mj is a fraud (@LeSweepNets2) February 22, 2021
Love that. Needed a floor general. Jordan woke tf up
— Clash Bandicoot (@ClashBandicoot_) February 22, 2021
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Indeed, Jordan did appear to wake up shortly thereafter. His thunderous slam on alley-oop gave the Nets a 42-40 lead with about seven minutes left in the second quarter. Harden got the assist on the play, inbounding the ball with perfect precision to Jordan for the dunk.
— Brooklyn Nets (@BrooklynNets) February 22, 2021
Jordan wound up having a solid game with eight points on 4-of-5 shooting, nine rebounds and two blocks through the first three quarters.
DeAndre Jordan continues to be really good tonight on both ends of the floor
— Law Murray 🌍 (@LawMurrayTheNU) February 22, 2021
He even shared a moment on the court with Irving as the chemistry between this new squad continues to build.
DeAndre and Kyrie sharing a moment on the Court. Friends. TEAMMATES. That’s the way!
— Brooklynsbeat (@brooklynsbeat) February 22, 2021
Not the First Time Harden and Jordan Have Shared a Heated Exchange
Earlier this season, in a game against the Detroit Pistons on February 9, Jordan appeared to just give up playing defense in the middle of a play.
During a timeout shortly thereafter, YES Network cameras caught Harden’s frustration with Jordan. Harden, the perennial All-Star whom the Nets acquired via four-team trade on January 14, was seen voicing that frustration by confronting Jordan about his defense during a timeout.
Harden was trying to coach his new team after trailing early vs. Detroit. pic.twitter.com/mSpVQo17oo
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) February 10, 2021
The next day, after the Nets rebounded from the Pistons loss with a win over the Indiana Pacers, Brooklyn coach Steve Nash said he and DeAndre Jordan also shared some heated exchanges in Detroit, per Brian Lewis of the New York Post. Jordan responded with 12 points, 13 rebounds and three locks — and Nash praised the way the veteran center bounced back, per Lewis.
Nash admits he and DeAndre Jordan got emotional and upset with each other last night; praised the way the veteran center responded tonight. #Nets
— Brian Lewis (@NYPost_Lewis) February 11, 2021
Jordan, an All-Star for the Clippers in 2016-17 who twice led the NBA in rebounds, insisted his exchanges with Nash and Harden weren’t anything negative.
“We’re competitors. Everybody on this team. All the coaches, a lot of those guys have played in this league before. And our team, we’ve got a lot veteran guys who ultimately want to reach the pinnacle of this game of basketball,” Jordan said after the Pacers game, via SNY. “It was just — we want to win. It’s just trying to find the right ways and schemes during game and different adjustments. That’s where I think our conversation went. A lot of things get blown out of proportion and some of that is you guys’ fault (the media), some of that is just people trying to get clicks. But every conversation that people have, we can’t judge by their facial expressions. A lot of that is just how we talk during the heat of the game. It’s not anything negative.”
“We’re competitors, man. Everybody on this team”
DeAndre Jordan addresses the animated exchange him and Steve Nash had following Tuesday’s loss to Detroit pic.twitter.com/uvG21csw3D
— Nets Videos (@SNYNets) February 11, 2021
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