Well, that was... awkward.
On TNT for the NBA All-Star 2022 Draft Show, Brooklyn Nets star Kevin Durant couldn’t hide his displeasure with James Harden, who was traded from the Nets to the 76ers before Thursday’s NBA trade deadline.
Durant, who was selected as captain along with the Los Angeles Lakers’ LeBron James, will not play in this year’s All-Star Game because of an MCL sprain, but that didn’t stop him from being selective as he picked players for Team Durant.
It was clear from early on that there is no bad blood between Durant and Sixers star Joel Embiid. Durant selected the 76ers big man second after James took Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo first.
From there, the wait was on. Durant and James cycled through names as the TNT crew of Charles Barkley, Shaquille O’Neal, Kenny Smith and Ernie Johnson lobbed jokes and Harden’s name remained on the board with other All-Star reserves.
Harden was essentially selected by default. With only two options remaining, Durant picked Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert over Harden as James covered his face — and smile — with a clipboard.
When the event ended, Harden landed on James’ team as the last pick of the night.
Prior to that scene, Durant did put on a serious face to answer one question about the deal that sent Harden and Paul Millsap from the Nets in exchange for Simmons, Seth Curry, Andre Drummond and two first-round picks.
“I’m excited for our team, looking forward to finishing the season out with this new group and these new players,” Durant said on Inside the NBA. “It’s playoffs right around the corner so we have to fast track into getting used to each other, but I’m excited. I think everybody got what they wanted.”