Nets vs. Celtics: James Harden, Kyrie Irving, and Steve Nash Top Quotes

See what the Brooklyn Nets had to say after their 121-109 win over the Boston Celtics.


On scoring 28 second-chance points:

“Effort. For us that’s always great when we get on the glass at the offensive end. Sometimes it’s also situation. It’s the night. It’s a number of things. I wouldn’t rely on that all the time. But I thought overall our effort was really good tonight considering we didn’t have a lot of training in our legs or sharpness, but our effort was there and our concentration was there. I was proud of the way we resumed play and the offensive rebounds go to show that.”

On James Harden's defense:

“He's been very good defensively for us. He has a high IQ. Obviously he played a switching defense in Houston, so it suits him that he can kind of dictate and quarterback the defense in a lot of ways, but he is very underrated on the ball. When he needs a stop, he can get a stop. He's a terrific post defender. He also is an incredible rebounder for his size, so defensively he's a plus for us, and I think it's overrated and I think he's definitely taking pride on that end of the floor and knows he's here to try to win, and knows the defensive end is something we can't let slip, and he's definitely taken a leadership role in that.”

On coming back from All-Star break:

"Obviously like we said it was a little sloppy at times, and that's to be expected. Overall, I think the guys played an outstanding game considering the layoff and it does feel at the end of the night like we picked up where we left off, but I think we also gotta really understand this is gonna be such a unique experience for everyone. Everything. The first eight days it's gonna be really hard to practice. We have to practice in the evening because COVID results have to come back in. So everyone's clock is gonna be challenged here especially with the eight days, but even the rest of the way, having 35 games in 67 days, it's just much of the same, and so we're asking a lot of these guys. They've delivered. They've grown, they've improved, they've come together, and so it does feel like we've continued on, but that's something we can't ever say this is who we are. We've got to continue to always strive to rinse every little bit of our ability and cohesion out of each other so by the end of the road we're a really good team."


On picking up from first half:

“Yep, that's exactly what we were preaching before the game is to offensively be unselfish, and then defensively have each other's back. And we've been doing that. So that’s been our mindset. And that's what's been helping us on both ends of the ball. And it's gonna be a different guy every night, and that's what so great about this team. Jeff played well, Landry made some big-time shots, Ky did what he did, but I think it was a contribution from everybody on the team, everybody that checked into the game. And when things aren't going, you just got to do the dirty work and whether it's offensive rebounds, loose balls and things like that. And then the fourth quarter, we gave up 23 points, and we scored 33.”

On making plays:

“I just play off the flow of the game. Tonight I had a little bit too many turnovers, but that's just as far as rhythm and guys -- and me not being so decisive with the ball and us not catching a rhythm our first game back from the break, but I try to go out there and put my impact on the game every single game. And whether I make shots or miss shots, I feel like I am more than just a shot maker. Especially when you have guys like Ky and KD that can go out there and give you 40, makes my job a lot easier. So, I am just proud of the guys. You know, we had a slow start then we just found ways to keep competing, keep competing. Boston didn't give up in that fourth quarter, we just turned it up defensively. Landry made some big shots. Joe made some big shots when they counted and that's what we're going to need from each guy. They're going to have the opportunity and when we make shots, it's going to be tough to beat us.”

On Kyrie Irving:

“He's just different. He's a different breed. He has that killer mentality in a sense of, no matter who we play or where we're playing, he is going to go out there and try to destroy the opponent and that's something that you'd want on your team at all times. So, obviously tonight he played great, he had 40. But, he does that every single game. And sometimes he misses shots, most of the time he makes them. But that mentality is what sets him apart from a lot of guys in this league.”


On coming back from All-Star Game:

"It felt good just to be able to get a few days of rest so to say. I’m really blessed to be able to play on that platform with so many great players and then come straight into the season again. It is what it is. We had a nice practice yesterday. You should’ve seen the first five minutes. We went up and down scrimmaging, getting back from vacation. We just wanted to come back from vacation and play with maximum effort. Going against the Celtics, we’ll see them down the line later on this season and probably in the playoffs as well. Who knows? But we just wanted to match their effort tonight and just have fun out there competing at a high level.”

On the last year since COVID shutdown in 2020:

“I mean I would love to share my thoughts. My sentiment goes out to a lot of the families that are dealing with the circumstances that I don't control about here. There's been changes all around our country. And my biggest thing is just bringing everyone together making sure that I'm always standing up for the right things and taking care of people who are walking that righteous path with God with Allah with whomever you call God. I just want everyone to stay safe. And if I can bring some healing, bring some excitement into your life by going out there and putting the ball in the hoop for three hours or two hours then I'm grateful to be able to do that. Grateful to be able to step into this environment knowing that we've had things that have been challenging for us, but the most challenging thing has been watching what's going in the country and seeing it change completely. We've seen a lot of change in social injustices, seeing a lot of changes in the way we treat each other as human beings because we need that in our world. We need more truth-tellers, we need more people stepping up and doing the right thing and I think we've been able to learn as human beings as well. It's been a racial problem going on that makes this thing more divided so we have so much more to work through but like I said if I'm able to use this platform to talk about the things that are going on in the world while still being able to stand on the truth and expose my talent that's all blessing from all praises due. So I just want to focus on what we can control. That's the same sentiment to everyone at home. Just take care of yourself, make sure you take care of your family and don't take time for granted. Because it can be taken away in an instant. So it's been good to just play basketball and have fun but still feel what the world is going through.”

On picking up where first half ended:

"It just feels like we're just in the journey and trying to enjoy every day. The ups and downs of the game are going to come and we just got to be able to battle through. It sounds cliche but it's basketball. When we go out there and have guys you can put in the right spot we have adjustments ready and we all hold each other accountable and we're all smiling and having fun and being physical and doing all the intangibles of the game of basketball that draws common person just working hard. Sweating, just doing the right things cheering on your teammates, all the details that it takes to win I feel like we're just trying to continue to get that vehicle going. And it's a work in progress. I'll never say we're perfect because we make mistakes all the time. We're human. But for everyone that's watching I think they study us and observe us on a very high level and expect greatness so why not expect it from ourselves and just go out there and do so. Not too much thinking, just doing and having fun. "