It may be hard to believe, but we still haven’t hit the year anniversary of that infamous James Harden to Houston swap that shook up Oklahoma City and, really, the basketball world.
Seems like eons ago. And so much has changed in the NBA landscape since then.
But regardless, it will always remain a sore spot for some Thunder fans and, apparently, a bit of a ‘What if?’ for the parties involved.
And that includes James Harden and Kevin Durant, who joined ESPN’s Grantland channel recently to relive that shocking day in late October and the proceeding months apart (check the video above).
“From the Finals to the Olympics to basically being with Kevin and Russell all summer to being in a new situation,” Harden recalled to Bill Simmons and Jalen Rose about the immediate aftermath. “It basically happened like that.”
“For me, it was definitely weird,” Harden said. “That entire season, basically being by myself after basically coming from a brotherhood, being alongside them every single day. And then suddenly being on my lonesome, in a new city, new team, new organization. I kind of had to feel my way in. (I kept) in contact, texting and calling, checking on (Durant’s) stats every single day was something I did just to stay involved.”
From Durant’s perspective: “It was difficult. Me and James, we became close ever since he got drafted. And like you said, for it to happen so quickly, it was a change for all of us. Not just our team, but our fans in Oklahoma City. I’d walk down the street and they would feel so upset that James was gone. But that’s how close we were as a team and that’s how close our city was to our team.”
Check out the above video for full context and some more quotes. Interesting stuff.