Denver Nuggets’ Bruce Brown stopped by The LeBatard Show on Monday (Nov. 26) to reflect on his time with the Brooklyn Nets.
Brown was traded from Detroit to Brooklyn ahead of the 2020-2021 season, where he bounced between the starting lineup and the bench and played like an Altoran. After two years in Brooklyn, he moved to Denver this season, where he averaged 11.5 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 3.4 assists.
During Brown’s time with the Nets, Brooklyn was a team that fans loved to watch. Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and James Harden combined to 안전놀이터 form the Big Three. They were considered a strong championship contender. Brown was a key role player for Brooklyn, serving as the backbone behind the big three.
However, the results didn’t come as expected.
After falling in the second round in their first year as a big three, Brooklyn had their worst season in 2021-2022, hampered by a number of setbacks, including Kyrie Irving’s unvaccinated status. A distraught Harden requested a trade and was shipped to Philadelphia, where they received Ben Simmons and were swept by Boston in the first round.
Rumors continued to swirl that Harden’s departure from Brooklyn in the midst of all that happened didn’t help the atmosphere in the locker room. There were stories of friction not only with Irving, but also with Durant and the head coach.
In the weeks leading up to his departure from Brooklyn, reports surfaced that Harden had virtually cut off communication with his teammates. Brooklyn players have also been known to make nuanced comments about Harden in interviews. His departure from Houston was no less tumultuous, with criticism from teammate DeMarcus Cousins and others.
However, Brown, who was in the same room with Harden, offered a slightly different take on the story. Brown says the Brooklyn locker room has gotten quieter since Harden’s departure and calls him one of the best teammates he’s ever had.
“It was definitely more fun when James Harden was on the team,” Brown said. He did a lot of events for us, and when he left, the locker room got a little quieter. Nobody did a lot of things together as teammates. Harden was a great teammate on and off the court. Definitely one of the best teammates I’ve ever had.”
“There was a gap when he left. We only had a few players on the team that fit together, and we struggled on the court. Our offense was based on straight-up Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving one-on-ones. And as we saw in Game 1 against Boston, there was just too much pressure and too much on them.”
With Harden gone, Brooklyn couldn’t take any of the pressure off Durant and Irving and were swept by Boston. Both Durant and Irving were traded the following season, leaving Brooklyn with one of the worst superteam assemblies in NBA history.