James Harden, Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving shared a very typical Brooklyn experience together for a year and a half. The moved into a spacious industrial place and tried to make it work. Then things began to fall apart, great inequity in contributions developed, and one person was sent packing on a Thursday afternoon. A differently difficult dude from Philadelphia was summoned to pick up a third of the costs with everyone holding their breath hoping this time it'll all work out.
This Big Three did fell far short of the lofty goals established. We all know it and Nick Wright reminded us yet again on First Things First, using the phrase "massive and historic failure." And perhaps he's right. Sports is fiercely results-oriented and the Nets cannot be happy with those results.
At the same time, it's worth considering just how close they came to ... not being a massive and historic failure. If Durant wore a smaller shoe size, Brooklyn would have knocked off the Milwaukee Bucks and played in the Eastern Conference Finals as the best remaining squad in the playoffs. In many ways that was the NBA Finals.
What-ifs are for losers and no one is going to argue that the Nets are happy with how things went. Yet it might be worth holding off on huge proclamations about the short-lived era until the story of this current season is finished. Harden's value allowed Brooklyn to get Ben Simmons, who could be productive this postseason or in postseasons to come.
History may prove that the trio wasn't a total loss. Though it looks that way right now.