For the first time in franchise history, the Brooklyn Nets have three All-Stars. The names of those All-Stars? Oh, no big deal. Just Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant, and now James Harden. Imagine telling a Nets fan that in 2016.
The Athletic’s Shams Charania broke the news of Harden’s selection...
Sources: 2021 NBA All-Star reserves:— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) February 23, 2021
West: Chris Paul, Paul George, Damian Lillard, Donovan Mitchell, Rudy Gobert, Zion Williamson, Anthony Davis
East: James Harden, Julius Randle, Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Zach LaVine, Ben Simmons, Nikola Vucevic
Harden has now been selected to the team nine straight years, the second longest streak in the NBA, behind only LeBron James who’s been selected 17 straight seasons.
It’s also the first time since the 2018-2019 season that ANY team has had three All-Stars. All-Star reserves are selected by the NBA’s assistant coaches. Starters were selected by a combination of fan, media and player voting. The Nets did have three All-Stars in the ABA game back in 1974-75.
The game will be played at State Farm Arena in Atlanta on March 7.
For James Harden, it was his ninth All-Star selection –– his first in the Eastern Conference –– after posting 24.9 points and a league-leading 11.1 assists (by a significant margin!). After leading the league in scoring for three years straight, Harden has undergone a complete revamp to his style, swapping buckets for chemistry-building dimes to bring his Brooklyn Nets to the next level, just half a game back from the top spot in the Eastern Conference. He’s been nothing short of amazing.
Head coach Steve Nash, though not asked specifically about Harden’s All-Star selection ( Brooklyn’s pregame presser occurred well before Charania’s announcement) had glowing things to say about the superstar guard.
“Clearly an All-Star. An all-world player,” said Nash. “He’s brought so much to our team. Leadership, playmaking, and scoring the ball. He’s been outstanding. We’re grateful to have him.”
Nash went further on what exactly makes Harden so special. While his skills with the basketball didn’t necessarily catch the rookie head coach by surprise, a different aspect of Harden’s gravity has made quite the impression.
“I don’t want to diminish how great he is, because I kind of expected this,” said Nash about Harden upon arrival. “We’ve seen him play so many times. I will say this: It’s even more impressive when he’s on your team and he’s throwing in step-back threes in crunch-time. That is a beautiful thing in your arsenal.
“I would say, though, what’s popped more to me being here working with him is his leadership, his attitude, his commitment. I mean, a total pro. He’s been such an important piece, not only on the floor. But the way he’s been a leader to this group. That, to me, I didn’t know what to expect, and it’s been amazing to see the type of a leader and professional he is.”
Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant were named as All-Star starters on February 18. Lock it in. “Scary Hours” is headed to Atlanta to put on a spooky show.
- James Harden makes it three Nets in All-Star Game for first time - Brian Lewis - New York Post
- James Harden joins Nets teammates Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant on All-Star squad - Anthony Rieber - Newsday
- Brooklyn Nets guard James Harden headlines Eastern Conference’s All-Star reserves, while Utah Jazz send two to Western Conference roster - Tim Bontemps - ESPN
- Newly-Minted All-Star James Harden Is Rewriting The Brooklyn Nets Record Book - Adam Zagoria - Forbes Sports Money
- JAMES HARDEN IS THIRD 2021 NBA ALL-STAR FOR BROOKLYN NETS - Tom Dowd - Brooklyn Nets