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Laughter is the Best Medicine

Kevin Durant not picking James Harden in the NBA All-Star Draft led to the yuck-fest of the season on Thursday

February 11, 2022

At this point, we’re going to assume you know that on Thursday James Harden and Ben Simmons swapped places in perhaps the biggest NBA trade deadline deal of that past decade. We’re also going to assume you know that nobody on the Nets or Sixers rosters could stand the sight of either player by the time they left and that former teammates spent much of Thursday afternoon popping the proverbial champagne. This context is essential to understanding what comes next.

That was Embiid on Simmons' departure minutes after the deal was announced. Pretty cut and dry. Don't the let the coffin lid hit ya. So on, so forth. KD's ire, however, was much more calculated, playing out live on TNT, where he and LeBron James were on hand to draft their respective NBA All-Star Game squads on Thursday night. As luck would have it, James Harden (along with Rudy Gobert) was one of two names left on the board when Durant arrived at the draft’s final pick. He didn't even blink.

“I’m gonna need some size,” he said.

The move sparked a yuck fest for the ages on the set. Even James—for all his faults, not typically a guy who gets involved in purple-nurple matches with other NBA divas—lost it, covering his face with his clipboard in an attempt to stifle his laughter. It wasn’t done there, however. Not even close.

Moments later, James expressed concern over Harden’s health, seeing as the Sixers' shiny new superstar missed the last three games with a “hamstring injury” as trade talks heated up. That was Chuck's cue to come flying off the top rope, replying, “He got traded, he’s healthy now … he’s rubbing IcyHot on that thing, he’s playing the next game!”

Obviously that sparked another round of laughs from the boys.

Ah, what a time to be a basketball fan. If you’re interested in watching KD flagrant two Harden back to the Cretaceous Period, the NBA All-Star Game tips off Sunday, February 20th, at 8 p.m. on TNT.