Wednesday afternoon, the Houston Rockets completed a blockbuster trade involving players and draft picks that sent one-time MVP James Harden to the Brooklyn Nets. Several people responded to the surprising news, including rapper Travis Scott. He hyped up the trade with a post on Instagram.
Scott posted a photo that showed him wearing a McDonald's-branded hat while slouching. Harden was next to him, posing with his arms crossed. "Big steppa [brown heart emoji]" Scott wrote in the caption of his post. He also added a photo in his Stories that showed an artistic rendering of Harden standing between Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant while wearing Nets' gear. "This s— is to [sic] brazzzzzyyyyy," he added.
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Scott and Harden have a very public friendship, which has created conversations over the years. The NBA player previously appeared in the music video for Scott's song "Way Back" and showed off his car and shooting skills. He also threw a pitch to the rapper during a celebrity softball game, which Scott rocketed out of the park for a home run. Harden still showed off his excitement for his friend by dancing around the plates.
Wednesday's trade sending Harden to the Nets capped off weeks of rumors about his future in H-Town. He was reportedly unhappy with the team and sparked conversations by violating the league's COVID-19 protocols. He attended a birthday party for Lil Baby and then reportedly went to an indoor party before the delayed season opener against the Oklahoma City Thunder.
"I'm not exactly sure what hoops he has to jump through in order to practice with the team," first-year coach Stephen Silas said about Harden in early December. "I would just say I want him here, and I want him to be a big part of what we're doing. I'm excited to coach him and have him be a part of what we just had out there with a good practice, with a bunch of guys who are working hard on both ends of the floor and had a good vibe about them."
The coach expressed optimism about Harden making an impact on the roster and joining newly-acquired player John Wall on the court, but this scenario did not pan out. Instead, Harden spoke to reporters on Tuesday and said that "We're just not good enough — chemistry, talent-wise, just everything." He criticized the team and was told to stay home on Wednesday. Hours later, the Rockets completed the trade and sent Harden packing.