Following Wednesday’s blockbuster trade for James Harden, the Brooklyn Nets are definitely an NBA Finals contender in 2021. But beyond being the Brooklyn Nets, who are they? Well, they are a team made up of 6 sets of old teammates.
Kevin Durant and Jeff Green (2007-08 Sonics)
2007-08 was the final season of the Sonics in Seattle.
Both Durant and Green were rookies during this season and are the last two active players in the NBA who played in Seattle.
Durant was drafted 2nd overall in 2007 and won Rookie of the Year after averaging 20.3 ppg.
Green was the 5th overall pick in 2007 (pick was traded from the Celtics in a package for Ray Allen). Green averaged 10.5 ppg and 4.7 rpg as a rookie.
The two remained teammates for the inaugural season of the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2008-09. The ’08 Sonics went 20-62 and the ’09 Thunder went 23-59.
Kevin Durant, James Harden, Jeff Green (2009-10 Thunder)
In 2009, Durant and Green got reinforcements when the Thunder drafted Harden 4th overall. The trio played one full season together (09-10) before Green was traded midway through the following season.
Durant and Green each started 82 games, while Harden played 76 games, coming off the bench for each. That Thunder team finished 50-32, making the playoffs for the first time, in their second season in Oklahoma City.
Kevin Durant and James Harden (2009-12 Thunder)
For three seasons, Durant and Harden were teammates (along with Russell Westbrook) on the Thunder. As mentioned above, these two played with Jeff Green in 2009-10.
They made the Western Conference Finals in both 2011 and 2012, and reached the NBA Finals in 2012, before losing in 6 games to Lebron James and the Miami Heat. Following that Finals loss, Harden was traded to the Rockets.
Jeff Green and James Harden (2019-20 Rockets)
Reunited in Houston, Jeff Green averaged 12.2 ppg in 18 games with Harden and the Rockets in 2019-20.
These two were coached by Mike D’Antoni, now the Nets’ lead assistant coach.
Steve Nash, Mike D’Antoni, Amare Stoudemire (2004-08 Suns)
Steve Nash is in his first year as a head coach with the Nets. As a player, Nash won back-to-back MVP awards in 2005 and 2006, while playing with fellow Nets assistant coach Amar’e Stoudemire, who both played for Mike D’Antoni from 2004-2008.
Suns made the playoff all 4 years this trio was together, including two trips to the Western Conference Finals.
Stoudemire and D’Antoni later reunited in New York. With D’Antoni the head coach of the Knicks, Stoudemire signed as a free agent in 2010 and they were together for the full 2010-11 season and part of 2011-12 before D’Antoni was fired. That 2011 team snapped a 6 year playoff drought.
Nash reuinted with D’Antoni in Los Angeles, signing with the Lakers in 2012, where he started 50 games. These two helped the Lakers reach the playoffs in 2013, their last appearance before their 2020 run to the Championship.
Kyrie Irving and Joe Harris (2014-15 Cavs)
We all know about Kyrie’s contributions to the Cavs during his time in Cleveland, but did you know he and Harris were teammates for a couple of years? Cavs drafted Joe Harris 33rd overall in 2014 and he played 51 games as a rookie, alongside Kyrie, where he averaged just 2.7 ppg in under 10 minutes per game. He did see minimal action in two games during the 2015 NBA Finals. Perhaps him and Kyrie can get back there together?
Harris played only 5 games in 2015-16 and was later injured and then traded.