SAN FRANCISCO — James Harden was a late scratch from Saturday’s loss at Golden State, sidelined by a right hand strain that hadn’t appeared on the injury report an hour earlier.
“James’ hand has been bothering him for a few days at least,” coach Steve Nash said before the Nets’ 110-106 loss to the Warriors. “He thought it was nothing and then it really flared up this morning when he woke up. Obviously irritated but what he was feeling [Friday] and [Saturday] morning he woke up with some irritation so he had a scan.”
That scan was an MRI exam, which ruled out anything catastrophic but did reveal the strain.
“[It was] clean of the bad stuff, but a strain for sure. There’s stuff on the MRI, so he’s feeling something and feeling the strain, and like I said it’s been bothering [him],” Nash said. “But he was like, ‘It’s nothing.’ And now it’s a little more than nothing. He woke up with a marked difference in the hand.”
Harden’s status for Tuesday’s game at NBA-leading Phoenix is up in the air. Nash had no clarity after Saturday’s loss.
“I do not,” Nash said. “We’ll have to see how it settles, but we’re hopeful.”
When pressed on exactly how long the hand had been bothering Harden, Nash had no answers. He only could surmise that the star aggravated the initial injury at Friday’s practice.
“It’s probably outside of my jurisdiction to say. But what it seems like is a few days,” Nash said. “And then shooting and lifting [Friday] flared it up and must have … he doesn’t remember an event, but the scan shows the irritation, the strain. And he’s said he’s had it for a number of days, so I think the deduction would be that he irritated it shooting and lifting.”
Harden missed Wednesday’s loss to the Nuggets with a hamstring strain. He’s recovered from that, but now he and the Nets are dealing with a new injury.
While Kyrie Irving had a season-high 32 points, seven rebounds and seven assists, a local politician was mad the guard was on the court at all. San Francisco board supervisor Matt Haney said the unvaccinated star shouldn’t have been allowed into Chase Center.
“I don’t think he should have gotten the exemption,” Haney told The San Francisco Chronicle. “We have a standard and it should apply to everyone. You’ve got bus drivers and firefighters being told they can’t come into work unless they are vaccinated.
“Then you have basketball players playing by a different set of rules, and it breeds cynicism over what are clearly double standards. If New York won’t let him play at home, I don’t see why San Francisco should let him play here.”
“I really don’t have a perspective other than echoing what I said the other day. Some people are gonna agree and some people are gonna disagree,” Irving said. “He’s entitled to his opinion and I respect it.”