James Harden thinks Thunder were ‘destined’ for a title before he got traded to Rockets
One of the biggest what-ifs in the NBA over the past decade would have to be the now-defunct trio of Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, and James Harden with the Oklahoma City Thunder. There’s no doubt that this was one of the most talented trios in league history, and the general consensus is that this group never really had a chance to live out their full potential.
Now with the Houston Rockers, Harden reflected on what could have been with OKC had he not been traded by the Thunder back in 2012. In his mind, there’s no doubt that they would have gone on to be one extremely successful franchise:
“Man, hell yeah,” Harden answered emphatically when asked if he thought the Thunder would have won the championship at some point, via Mark Anthony Green of GQ.
“I was there for three seasons. Every team that we lost to won the chip.
“My third year we lost in the Finals. And we just came off USA Basketball, won a gold medal. It was destined. But shit happens.”
The Thunder decided they had no choice but to ship away Harden in 2012 after negotiations on a contract extension failed. There were some luxury tax concerns at play, and Harden also wanted to blossom into his own superstar. Oklahoma City moved forward with the trio of Durant, Westbrook, and Serge Ibaka instead of keeping Harden around. While the Thunder still had a lot of success with that group, they never returned to another NBA Finals.
Now reunited in Houston, Harden and Westbrook are off to handle some unfinished business. The Rockets are one of the serious contenders for this year’s championship, so this pair is surely hoping to finally fulfill their destiny, albeit with a different team. Harden is an MVP candidate again and Westbrook is playing some of his best basketball, so they’re primed for a run.
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