Charles Barkley made LeBron James and Kevin Durant lose it with a James Harden joke during the All-Star game draft
LeBron James and Kevin Durant drafted their All-Star teams on Thursday.
Durant avoided drafting James Harden, who forced a trade off the Nets earlier in the day.
Charles Barkley cracked jokes about the awkwardness, making James and Durant crack up. Over 3 million people read Morning Brew; you should too
LeBron James and the “NBA on TNT” crew could not help but crack jokes about James Harden leaving Kevin Durant’s Brooklyn Nets.
James and Durant, the leading vote-getters for the All-Star Game, drafted their teams on Thursday, choosing among the starters and reserves.
This led to an awkward scenario for Durant: he was in the position to draft or pass over Harden, who forced a trade from the Nets to the Philadelphia 76ers earlier in the day.
Through the first few picks of the reserves, the topic did not come up until Charles Barkley started laughing. When asked what he was laughing at, Barkley spoke the previously unspoken, telling Durant to leave Harden off his All-Star team.
James and the rest of the TNT crew began to laugh while Durant, who had been stoic throughout the whole process, cracked a smile.
Once it was in the open, however, Barkley kept going. He urged James to continue passing on Harden, leaving Durant in an awkward spot. James, laughing, continued to draft other players.
Finally, there were only two players left: Rudy Gobert and Harden. Durant said, “I’m gonna need some size,” and drafted Gobert, leaving Harden to go to James’ team as the last remaining player.
James then asked if Harden was healthy — Harden sat out the Nets’ last three games with hamstring tightness, an injury that some thought was a signal that he wanted out of Brooklyn.
Barkley responded, “He got traded. He’s healthy now!”
Both James and the TNT crew began to laugh, with James covering his face with a clipboard. Even Durant cracked, allowing himself to laugh.
Watch the moment below.
— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) February 11, 2022