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Kyrie Irving on James Harden: ‘I wish him nothing but peace and love’

·19 min read

Brian Lewis: Kyrie: “If thats what James wanted I respect his decision…I wish him nothing but peace and love. We have a great friendship but it didnt work out. Wish things could’ve been communicated better for all of us as men; but hey, no hard feelings here with me or anything else.” #Nets
Source: Twitter @NYPost_Lewis

What’s the buzz on Twitter?

Brian Lewis @NYPost_Lewis
Kevin Durant on James Harden, and whether the #Nets could’ve convinced him to stay: AM

Todd Whitehead @CrumpledJumper
Kyrie Irving with the most efficient 50-point game in NBA history – 101% true shooting 🤯 AM

Brian Lewis @NYPost_Lewis
Kyrie: “If thats what James wanted I respect his decision…I wish him nothing but peace and love. We have a great friendship but it didnt work out. Wish things could’ve been communicated better for all of us as men; but hey, no hard feelings here with me or anything else.” #Nets12:13 AM

Adam Zagoria @AdamZagoria
Now on @njdotcom
Kyrie Irving enjoys historic night by scoring 50 points on just 19 shots in Nets’ win over Charlotte…12:13 AM

Brian Lewis @NYPost_Lewis
Kyrie on if #Nets could’ve convinced Harden to stay: “I was coming in late into things & I was told one thing & then told another thing. Then trade deadline comes up & now its a whole different situation…I thought we were in a good swing, but everybody has their own visions…” – 12:12 AM

Dave Early @DavidEarly
“I wish him nothing but peace and love, we have a great friendship, but it didn’t work out. Wish things could have been communicated better for all of us as men but hey, no hard feelings here with me.”
-Kyrie Irving’s on how things ended with his James Harden
#NetsWorld AM

Kristian Winfield @Krisplashed
“Younger players: You should watch this game (to) learn what it takes to score at that level. For him to score that easy, that was just a MasterClass.”
Kyrie Irving succumbed to the boos in Boston, then responded w/a 50-point barrage in a must-win v CHA…11:55 PM

Nick Friedell @NickFriedell
Kyrie on Harden: “Everybody has their own visions starting off their careers and ending their careers. If that’s what James wanted then I respect his decision and that’s just what it is. I wish him nothing but peace and love. We have a great friendship, but it didn’t work out.” – 11:06 PM

Steve Bulpett @SteveBHoop
Can the #Nets overcome their reality show drama of a season?
GM Sean Marks spoke candidly to Heavy about Brooklyn’s window of championship opportunity
— Harden-Kyrie-KD never really taking their best shot
— What Simmons, Curry, Drummond can mean PM

Kurt Helin @basketballtalk
Watch Kyrie Irving take over, drop 50 on Hornets to get Nets win…10:42 PM

Kristian Winfield @Krisplashed
After dealing with the raucous TD Garden crowd in Boston, Kyrie Irving had some advice for Ben Simmons ahead of his Thursday return to Philadelphia:…10:32 PM

Sean Grande @SeanGrandePBP
Kyrie drops 50 on the Hornets the night before they face the Celtics. Bucks and Cavs both win on the road.
Your East standings heading into March 9th…
BOSTON at Charlotte
Chicago at Detroit
Phoenix at Miami
Atlanta at Milwaukee
Toronto at San Antonio PM

StatMuse @statmuse
Guards in NBA history with multiple 50-point games on 75% shooting:
1. Michael Jordan
2. Kyrie Irving
End of list. PM

Alex Schiffer @Alex__Schiffer
Kyrie Irving asked how he expects the atmosphere to be Thursday: “Lovely.” Then ends his press conference. Great mic drop. – 10:09 PM

Nick Friedell @NickFriedell
What does Kyrie think the atmosphere in Philly will be like Thursday?
“Lovely.” – 10:09 PM

Dave Early @DavidEarly
Kyrie Irving on the environment he expects in Philly Thursday: “lovely.”
-Drops mic- – 10:09 PM

Kristian Winfield @Krisplashed
Kyrie Irving says he respects James Harden’s decision and wishes him nothing but peace and love: “I wish things could have been communicated better as men.” – 10:08 PM

Alex Schiffer @Alex__Schiffer
Both Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving are downplaying Thursday’s matchup against James Harden. – 10:08 PM

Kristian Winfield @Krisplashed
Kyrie Irving says playing against James Harden won’t be about individual match-ups: “It makes for good stories. It makes for good narratives. It makes for good build-up for our league. It’s never too personal, but we understand that as competitors, we want to win the game.” – 10:07 PM

Alex Schiffer @Alex__Schiffer
Asked Kyrie if he was aware how many he had down the stretch: “Mmhm.” – 10:06 PM

Kristian Winfield @Krisplashed
Kyrie Irving: “Obviously I didn’t play the best game in Boston.” Irving reiterated he was a bit emotional at TD Garden: “Every time I step foot in there, it is what it is.” – 10:06 PM

Kristian Winfield @Krisplashed
Kyrie Irving said he knew exactly how many point he had down the stretch on his way to 50: “Mhm. I’m not gonna sit here and lie to y’all.” #NetsWorld10:05 PM

Dave Early @DavidEarly
Kyrie Irving laughs and said he was aware of how many points he had down the stretch. Jokes he’s not gonna lie to us, he knew. – 10:05 PM

Dave Early @DavidEarly
Kyrie Irving says he had to go into the deep place, talked less, got a look on his face, to lock in for a must win game. – 10:04 PM

NBA Kicks @NBAKicks
5️⃣0️⃣ for Kyrie! #NBAKicks PM

Kristian Winfield @Krisplashed
Seth Curry called Kyrie Irving’s performance special: “We needed *that* Kyrie.” – 9:54 PM

Anthony Puccio @APOOCH
Steve Nash answering @Nick Friedell question whether he looks forward to catching up with James Harden:
“I don’t know that, we’ll see. I never really get a chance to talk to opposing players.”
🎥 @YESNetwork PM

Kristian Winfield @Krisplashed
Kevin Durant suggests there’s not much the Nets could have said to keep James Harden in Brooklyn: “You can try to look at it from his perspective: Kai’s not playing, and I’m injured. He hasn’t won a championship before.” – 9:48 PM

Dave Early @DavidEarly
“I don’t think it’ll be any different from a regular game…”
-Kevin Durant on facing James Harden Thursday. Says when he was 22 or 23 it might have been a bigger deal to face someone recently traded. Not it’s business. – 9:46 PM

Kristian Winfield @Krisplashed
Kevin Durant on playing against James Harden: “I don’t think it’ll be any different than a regular game. … It is what it is. It’s another game for us. We’re looking to win, and they’re looking to win.” – 9:46 PM

Dave Early @DavidEarly
Kevin Durant started clapping his hands at the post game for Kyrie Irving- returning the favor when Irving did it for him cracking 25k career points last one.
Said he could see in Kyrie’s eyes he had something extra tonight. Calls it a masterclass younger players should study. – 9:44 PM

Nick Friedell @NickFriedell
KD starts his press conference by clapping for Kyrie. “Everything he does is pure … that was just a master class.” – 9:43 PM

Kristian Winfield @Krisplashed
Kevin Durant just gave Kyrie Irving a round of applause for scoring 50 tonight the same way Kyrie gave KD a round of applause after he made the 25,000-point club: “Younger players should watch this game and learn what it takes to score at that level.” – 9:43 PM

Alex Schiffer @Alex__Schiffer
“Younger players should watch this game to learn what it takes to score at that level.”-Kevin Durant on Kyrie Irving’s 50-point game on 79 percent shooting. – 9:43 PM

Steve Aschburner @AschNBA
<— 🐐
Players with multiple 50-point games on 75% shooting in NBA history:
8 – Wilt Chamberlain
3 – Michael Jordan
2 – Kyrie Irving (including tonight)
2 – Karl Malone
2 – Adrian Dantley – 9:43 PM

Alex Schiffer @Alex__Schiffer
Kevin Durant claps upon hearing Kyrie Irving’s historic mark. “It looked so easy tonight.” – 9:42 PM

Brian Lewis @NYPost_Lewis
Players with multiple 50-point games on 75% shooting in #NBA history, per the #Nets:
8 – Wilt Chamberlain
3 – Michael Jordan
2 – Kyrie Irving (including tonight)
2 – Karl Malone
2 – Adrian Dantley – 9:40 PM

Alex Schiffer @Alex__Schiffer
Also from @BKN_NETSPR: Players with multiple 50-point games on 75% shooting in NBA history:
8 – Wilt Chamberlain
3 – Michael Jordan
2 – Kyrie Irving (including tonight)
2 – Karl Malone
2 – Adrian Dantley – 9:40 PM

Micah Adams @MicahAdams13
Kyrie Irving had an true shooting percentage of 101.3%
That’s the highest in a 50-point game in NBA history.
Kyrie was so efficient, he broke analytics. – 9:40 PM

Dave Early @DavidEarly
“He’s incredible, he’s a career highlight real every time, every night, so we obviously have a special player on our hands.”
-Steve Nash after Kyrie Irving’s 5th career 50 point game vs. Hornets. – 9:39 PM

Alex Schiffer @Alex__Schiffer
Steve Nash asked if he expects to catch up with James Harden, said he doesn’t tend to talk to opposing players. – 9:36 PM

Kristian Winfield @Krisplashed
Steve Nash if he looks forward to catching up with James Harden on Thursday: “I don’t know that we’ll speak.” – 9:33 PM

Kristian Winfield @Krisplashed
Steve Nash on playing against James Harden on Thursday: “It’ll be a different feeling to play against him this soon after the trade, but it’ll be an exciting night for everyone to play.” – 9:33 PM

Alex Schiffer @Alex__Schiffer
From @BKN_NETSPR: Fewest field goal attempts in a 50-point game in NBA history:
17 – Adrian Dantley (Utah) – 10/31/80 vs. Dallas (50 points)
19 – Kyrie Irving (Brooklyn) – tonight at Charlotte (50 points)
19 – Willie Burton (Philadelphia) – 12/13/94 vs. Miami (53 points) – 9:31 PM

Matt Williams @StatsWilliams
Kyrie Irving tonight:
50 points
15-19 FG (78%)
9-12 3-pt FG
He is the first player in NBA history to record 50 points, 9 3-pointers and 75% shooting in a game. – 9:28 PM

Barbara Barker @meanbarb
This is Kyrie’s third 50 point game as a Net. Eight Nets have posted 50 point games since the team joined the NBA. No one else has done it more than once. – 9:28 PM

StatMuse @statmuse
Kyrie Irving tonight:
50 PTS
15-19 FG
9-12 3P
Kyrie’s 3rd 50 piece as a Net, no other Net has more than 1. PM

Chris Miller @cmillsnbcs
Kyrie dropped a 50 piece in Charlotte. – 9:27 PM

Ky Carlin @Ky_Carlin
Kyrie Irving dropped 50? Ok, Uncle Drew. – 9:27 PM

Marc J. Spears @MarcJSpears
Kyrie Irving registered his third 50-point game as a Net. No other player in the franchise’s NBA history that included Dr. J has more than one (8 players have posted one 50-point game as a Net). This is Irving’s fifth-career 50-point game: three in Brooklyn and two in Cleveland. PM

Alex Schiffer @Alex__Schiffer
Final: Nets beat the Hornets 132-121 behind Kyrie Irving’s 50 points. Much-needed win. Supporting cast was great. Next up: James Harden and Philadelphia 76ers – 9:26 PM

Anthony Puccio @APOOCH
Man… Kyrie Irving dropped 50 points on 19 shots. Man is a basketball savant. – 9:24 PM

John Schuhmann @johnschuhmann
In addition to the 50-piece, I thought Irving gave a better effort defensively tonight, getting over screens etc. – 9:24 PM

Barbara Barker @meanbarb
Kyrie Irving has 50 points in Charlotte. 16 points in fourth quarter. – 9:23 PM

Rod Boone @rodboone
Kyrie Irving drops a 50 piece. Has 16 here in the fourth quarter. #goodnight9:22 PM

Nick Friedell @NickFriedell
Kyrie’s got 50 points — and he gets a standing ovation from many in the Charlotte crowd. – 9:22 PM

Gary Washburn @GwashburnGlobe
50 for Kyrie Irving – 9:22 PM

Anthony Puccio @APOOCH
Kyrie Irving is already the only Net with multiple 50-point games. Going for his 3rd with 44 👀
7 min left – 9:06 PM

Kristian Winfield @Krisplashed
Kyrie Irving’s hunting that record you can’t tell me otherwise lol I don’t think he’s gonna catch it. – 9:06 PM

Kristian Winfield @Krisplashed
Kyrie Irving has 42 points and 9 threes in Charlotte. For those wondering, Klay Thompson holds the NBA record at 14, and Zach LaVine and Steph Curry are tied for 2nd at 13. – 9:01 PM

Rod Boone @rodboone
Kyrie Irving pulls up from Rock Hill and buries it. Season-high 42 points and a season-best nine three-pointers made. #Hornets trail 108-92. – 9:01 PM

Nick Friedell @NickFriedell
Kyrie is up to 42 points. He’s 13-for-17 from the field. He’s been in rhythm all night after an up and down performance in Boston. He’s feeling it — and his teammates are looking for him. – 9:00 PM

Barbara Barker @meanbarb
Kyrie Irving has a new season high with 39. He is 8 for 11. – 8:58 PM

Alex Schiffer @Alex__Schiffer
End of the third quarter: Nets lead the Hornets 100-84. Kyrie has 34. KD has 10. Brooklyn in total control. Hornets have cut the lead down a few times and Nets have responded. They’re playing Journey here. – 8:52 PM

Kristian Winfield @Krisplashed
Make that 7-of-8 from downtown for Kyrie Irving, who’s up to 31 points in Charlotte against the Hornets tonight. – 8:29 PM

Kristian Winfield @Krisplashed
Kyrie Irving: 6-of-7 from 3-Point range – 8:28 PM

John Schuhmann @johnschuhmann
Bruce Brown’s gonna brick some 3s, but his defense & energy (getting Nets some great looks tonight by just pushing the ball) is a great complement to Irving/Durant.
Can Nets play Brown & Simmons together? Certainly not w/ Drummond. – 8:28 PM

Brian Lewis @NYPost_Lewis
Kyrie Irving is 7-of-8 from deep., putting on a show. He’s got 31 and the #Nets lead 87-56. – 8:28 PM

Rod Boone @rodboone
Everyone has to take some blame for that awful first half. Silly fullcourt passes trying to get it all back in one possession. Atrocious defense. Cold offense. Gotta make some better adjustments to ensure guys like Kyrie, Seth Curry and Andre Drummond don’t get free passes. – 8:14 PM

Alex Schiffer @Alex__Schiffer
Halftime: Nets lead the Hornets 69-43. All Brooklyn in the first half. Kyrie Irving has 20, Brown and Drummond both in double-figures, too. Hornets have been as bad as the Nets have been good. Just have to keep the foot on the gas. – 8:07 PM

Brian Lewis @NYPost_Lewis
Kyrie Irving has 20 points on 5-for-6 shooting – 4-of-5 from deep – and there’s still 7:28 left in the half. The #Nets are up 50-30. – 7:51 PM

Alex Schiffer @Alex__Schiffer
Kyrie Irving has 20 points on 5-for-6 shooting with 7:28 left in the first. He’s putting on a clinic. Nets lead 50-30. – 7:49 PM

Nick Friedell @NickFriedell
Nets rolling early. Kyrie already has 12 points — Brooklyn’s offense getting whatever it wants. They are controlling the tempo and shooting 16-for-28 from the field. – 7:43 PM

Alex Schiffer @Alex__Schiffer
End of the first quarter: Nets lead 32-20. Claxton’s layup was waved off. Irving with 12, Durant with seven. Nets took care of the ball and start off 50 percent from 3. – 7:37 PM

Brian Lewis @NYPost_Lewis
The waved off that Nic Claxton bucket at the buzzer. #Nets lead the #Hornets 32-20 after a first quarter that saw them shoot .545 overall and 4-of-8 from deep. Kyrie Irving with a dozen points. – 7:37 PM

Rod Boone @rodboone
End of first quarter: Nets 32, #Hornets 20
They are going to have to do something about Kyrie Irving. He has 12 points and hasn’t even got a good rhythm yet. – 7:36 PM

Alex Schiffer @Alex__Schiffer
After a quick break, Kevin Durant is right back in. Dragic’s playmaking is showing. Drives and kicks out to the perimeter. Ball finds Irving for an open 3. – 7:34 PM

Alex Schiffer @Alex__Schiffer
Nets lead the Hornets 14-9 with 5:40 left in the first quarter. LaMelo just attempted a 3 from the parking lot with KD on him. It did not go in. Durant and Irving have 10 of the first 14. – 7:24 PM

Alex Schiffer @Alex__Schiffer
Three former Duke teammates on the court to start the game. Kyrie Irving, Seth Curry and Mason Plumlee all played together. – 7:11 PM

Alex Schiffer @Alex__Schiffer
Nets starters in Charlotte: Irving, Curry, Durant, Brown and Drummond. – 6:33 PM

Kristian Winfield @Krisplashed
Kyrie Irving, Seth Curry, Kevin Durant, Bruce Brown and Andre Drummond are your Nets starters tonight against the Hornets. – 6:31 PM

James Harden @JHarden13
Courtesy of the Family @saks PM

Malika Andrews @malika_andrews
So, which is the more league-altering trade: Russell Wilson to Denver or James Harden to Philadelphia? NBA Today at 3 ET…
@Rjeff24 @Kendrick Perkins2:45 PM

Ky Carlin @Ky_Carlin
Matisse Thybulle discusses his role next to James Harden on offense and he praises Harden for helping him with his offensive improvement #Sixers… via @SixersWire2:32 PM

Kurt Helin @basketballtalk
Andrew Bogut: Rumor is Bradley Beal will join James Harden and Joel Embiid on 76ers…2:31 PM

NBA Math @NBA_Math
1. Harden: 15.8
2. Curry: 15.2
3. Lillard: 14.6
4. Young: 14.0
5. Doncic: 13.7
6. Durant: 12.3
7. Mitchell: 12.2
8. George: 11.5
9. Embiid: 11.2
10. Arenas: 11.1
@Daryl Morey knows what he’s doing, and our own @fromal09 wrote about Harden’s 3PM/FTM excellence: PM

Justin Kubatko @jkubatko
📅 On this day in 2019, the @Houston Rockets James Harden scored 31 points in a win over the Sixers, his last of 40 consecutive 25-point games.
The only players in NBA history with a longer such streak are Wilt Chamberlain (106), Oscar Robertson (47), and Kevin Durant (41). PM

Gina Mizell @ginamizell
Some lunchtime Sixers notes and nuggets:
*Doc thinks Ben Simmons should receive a tribute video Thursday.
*Harden hopes he won’t miss any more games for hamstring management.
*Harden the…defender?…12:00 PM

Rich Hoffman @rich_hofmann
Wrote about some important plays from last night’s Sixers win, including James Harden finding ways to get Matisse Thybulle some easy baskets: AM

Kyle Neubeck @KyleNeubeck
The Sixers keep on rolling with Embiid and Harden on the floor together…10:51 AM

Ky Carlin @Ky_Carlin
James Harden will be facing his former team for the 1st time on Thursday, but he’s downplaying this specific matchup with the Nets at home #Sixers… via @SixersWire9:55 AM

Chris Forsberg @ChrisForsberg_
Jayson Tatum is a superstar. The Celtics are legitimate title contenders. How did everything change so quickly? @jtomase has thoughts (and a Kyrie rant)
📺 AM

More on this storyline

“It’s definitely new,” Dirk Nowitzki said on SI’s Crossover podcast. “We always felt like we the players didn’t have enough power at the beginning of my career (in 1998), and the owners had all the power, could make all the moves. And now it’s almost shifting like a little bit too much. I think there should be like a happy medium. But now the players forcing themselves out, to me is not the way to go, either.” -via MSN / March 4, 2022

The final verdict on the Philadelphia 76ers trade for James Harden won’t come for months — maybe even years. Until then, every moment Harden and Philadelphia’s MVP-frontrunner Joel Embiid spend on the court together will be something of a Rohrsarch test. Some will see chemistry, others calamity — sometimes both will be visible in the same game. There was plenty to glean from Harden’s debut for the Sixers Friday night in a 133-102 blowout win over the Minnesota Timberwolves. But the enduring image from this night, the one that jumps out from behind The Beard, was the bright smile on Harden’s face. “[I’m] extremely happy,” Harden said postgame. “Extremely happy.” -via ESPN / February 26, 2022

Friday night Harden paid off that trust — and then some. He finished with an efficient 27 points, 12 assists and eight rebounds, hitting 7-of-12 from the floor and 5-of-7 from behind the arc. According to Second Spectrum, the Sixers averaged 1.58 points off of Harden’s touches — the second-best mark of any Harden team in a game in which he had at least 20 touches in the last eight seasons. “I think it’s like anyone with a new group,” Morey said. “You realize you’re the new guy. You want to fit in and then show what you can do. Everyone has watched James play for many years and knows what he’s capable of. “When you’re getting to know new teammates, I think those early interactions help. Early play on the court really helps.” -via ESPN / February 26, 2022