The Los Angeles Clippers earned a hard-earned victory over the New Orleans Pelicans led by Kawhi Leonard and Paul George on Wednesday night. But all day, the focus was on James Harden and the four-person commercial blockbusters between the Houston Rockets, the Brooklyn Nets, the Indiana Pacers and the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Newcomer Harden, who will play alongside Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, is expected to lead Brooklyn into a serious championship battle with the LeBron James Lakers and Paul George’s Clippers.
After the Clippers’ victory, George was approached about the trade that brought James Harden to the Nets, Karis LeVert to the Packers and Victor Oladipo to the Rockets.
It has nothing to do with us, George quickly replied.
This has nothing to do with us.
Paul George when asked about James Harden’s exchange with the Severs and looking forward. #Clippers pic.twitter.com/yeBk53MtEZ
– Tomer Azarly (@TomerAzarly) January 14, 2021
To no one’s surprise, George is staying with the Clippers and taking things one day at a time. Not surprisingly, LeBron James had a very similar answer when asked about trading Harden earlier in the day.
I don’t get many responses, James said. The exchange was tonight, and I couldn’t afford to do it because we had a game to play tonight.
There were several jobs today and I couldn’t afford to give in to them because we had a game to play tonight.
LeBron James stayed on a mission with the Lakers after the exchange of James Harden.
(via @RyanWardLA) pic.twitter.com/vnmHS0mmdE
– LakeShow (@LakeShowCP) January 14, 2021
The Nets and Rockets were in talks prior to the 2020-21 season when Harden’s commercial demand for the game appeared in the media. Brooklyn was his first choice, but Harden reportedly started adding other teams to that list, including the Philadelphia 76ers, the Milwaukee Bucks and the Miami Heat.
However, these teams quickly realized that Houston would have to pay an astronomical price and that it would not be worth it to tear down their own championship teams.
The final straw was twisted when Harden attacked his teammates at Tuesday’s press conference, confirming his desire to be traded to the Rockets.
We’re] just not good enough…. I love this city and I literally did everything I could. This situation makes no sense. It’s something I don’t think can be fixed.
We’re] just not good enough…. I love this town. I literally did everything I could. I mean, this situation is insane. It’s something I don’t think can be fixed.
James Harden on current missiles pic.twitter.com/F0yYY5EipD6
– 13. ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) January 2021
If all goes well, there’s a good chance the Los Angeles Clippers and the Brooklyn Nets will meet in the NBA Finals. Kawhi Leonard and Paul George. Kevin Durant, James Harden and Kyrie Irving. The power of this series alone would make television an incredible entertainment experience.
As George mentioned, both teams are still far from a playoff series against each other, so the focus remains on the daily journey to the NBA Finals.