As expected, James Harden was named on Tuesday night as a reserve for the NBA All-Star Game.
Harden will join Nets teammates Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, who last week were selected as starters for the March 7 game in Atlanta.
It’s the first time in the franchise's NBA history that the Nets have had three All-Stars.
Durant (left hamstring strain) missed his fifth straight game Tuesday night when the Nets beat Sacramento, 127-118, at Barclays Center. Coach Steve Nash said he thinks Durant will return before the All-Star Game.
"I do," Nash said. "But, again, we’re just trying to monitor and be cautious. Adjusting and stuff. Trying to slow things down, in that respect. Not putting any pressure on him, not trying to rush him back in any capacity and make sure that we give him the right amount of time to be more than healed, to be strong and conditioned to come back into the team. Monitoring it, and we’re not in a rush, but I don’t think he’ll be out until the All-Star break."
Nash said he hasn’t had any discussions about the potentially awkward situation that could arise if Durant doesn’t return before the break but wants to play in the All-Star Game.
"I’m not sure how the league would approach that," Durant said, "so I probably couldn’t say anything meaningful."
Nash called Harden "clearly an All-Star, an all-world player. He’s brought so much to our team. Leadership, playmaking and scoring the ball, he’s been outstanding. We’re grateful to have him."
Harden went into Tuesday averaging 24.9 points, 11.4 assists and 8.3 rebounds in 18 games with the Nets. And he had a triple-double Tuesday, with 29 points, 11 rebounds and 14 assists.
"I don’t want to like diminish how great he is," Nash said. "Because I kind of expected this when you’ve seen him play so many times . . . What’s popped more to me working with him is his leadership, his attitude. I mean, a total pro and he’s been such an important piece, not only on the floor, but the way he’s kind of been a leader to this group. That to me, I didn’t know what to expect and it’s been amazing to see."
After the game, the Nets announced they had waived guard/forward Andre Roberson, guard Iman Shumpert and forward Noah Vonleh ahead of the deadline to guarantee contracts for the season. ESPN.com reported the team is planning to sign G League power forward Tyler Cook to a 10-day contract. The Athletic reported Shumpert and Roberson plan to sign 10-day contracts with the Nets when they are able to on Friday.