Harden made those assurances when they took a trip to Greece. However, Harden began to sour on his situation in Brooklyn after Durant injured his knee in January. Harden was also upset by Kyrie Irving’s refusal to get vaccinated, which led to a nosedive down the Eastern Conference standings.
Durant took a philosophical approach about Harden’s decision not to stay with Brooklyn long-term and instead pushing for a trade to the Sixers.
“It wasn’t like it was a disconnect between us as individuals. I felt like we liked each other,” he says. “But I was focusing on rehab and he was focusing on the team. Naturally, I wasn’t around the group, but I can’t control how everybody feels about their situation.”
Durant and Irving have grown closer and there’s little doubt Irving will re-sign with Brooklyn, even if he opts out this summer and re-enters free agency. Irving stated that publicly over the weekend.
“We’re building something cool over here,” Durant said. “Kyrie’s a huge, huge part of it, even though this year he was in and out of the lineup, but he’s still a huge part of what we’re trying to do. It’s one of those obstacles that has been fun to climb over, to be honest.”
Durant has no regrets about signing a four-year max extension last summer, despite how this season has played out with Harden’s departure.
“I’m settled,” he says. “It’s good to know that I don’t have to look over my shoulder and worry about the next season or the next two years. Just knowing that three or four years that I’m locked in, I can start living my life on and off the floor with a little bit more ease. It’s a good place to be in.”