Ex-Celtic Ray Allen has a warning for James Harden as Nets rumors swirl

Darren Hartwell
·2 min read

Ray Allen has a warning for James Harden as Nets rumors swirl originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

James Harden reportedly is interested in joining Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving on the Brooklyn Nets to form the most talented "Big Three" in basketball.

That's on paper, anyway. Whether three of the NBA's most prolific scorers could coexist on the same team is an important question -- that Ray Allen is well-qualified to weigh in on.

The former Celtics guard teamed up with Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett to form Boston's "Big Three" that won an NBA championship in 2008. But that success came at the expense of some serious growing pains for Allen, who warns that Harden, Irving and Durant all would need to make significant sacrifices as teammates.

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"It’s going to be extremely difficult for them to get along together,” Allen told Frank Isola and Brian Scalabrine Monday on SiriusXM NBA Radio. "Personality-wise, they might be great, but then on the court it could cause trouble or problems, which ultimately could affect their relationship."

Harden led the NBA in field goal attempts by a wide margin last season while Irving ranked fourth in the league with 20.8 shot attempts per game. Durant hasn't averaged fewer than 25 points per game since his rookie year.

If all three players share the court together, though, such gaudy production likely won't hold -- something Allen learned the hard way in Boston.

"Winning the championship in '08 was the most difficult thing I ever had to do," Allen said, "because I came from Seattle, where I (was) shooting the ball 18-19 times a game and I go to Boston where it's eight or nine times a game. I couldn’t take those temperature-gauge shots just to feel how (I was shooting)."

Allen's acceptance of his role helped the Celtics win a championship, but he seems skeptical that Harden can do the same with Irving and Durant.

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“There’s responsibility that comes with playing the game now when you’re on a team that you're hoping will win a championship," Allen said. "So it’s going to take specifically Harden -- because now you’ve got Kyrie, who’s primarily a ball-handler, both of them to figure out how do we share the responsibility and operate as a team.

"If they’re willing to do that, it can be amazing what they accomplish, but if not, it could be a train wreck."

Considering some Nets players reportedly aren't on board with Harden coming to Brooklyn, the latter is certainly in play.