The decision Sam Presti and OKC made in the fall of 2012 to deal James Harden to the Houston Rockets for 50 cents on the dollar sent reverberations throughout the NBA and made Houston a title contender even while OKC continues to be one of the top teams in the league. During a recent one-on-one with ESPN’s Hannah Storm, Harden goes into the details behind his trade to Houston and how things might have played out differently if money hadn’t been an issue.
The money quote (literally and figuratively) in their conversation — aside from Hannah grilling James about how much money it would take for him to shave his famous beard ($10 million) — was this exchange:
Storm: If money wasn’t in the equation, do you think you’d still be there?
Harden: Definitely. Definitely, no question.
When Storm asked Harden about making his decision to leave OKC and what those final moments were like, Harden didn’t hold back:
“Nervous … mixed emotions … not knowing what to do. It was tough. I felt like I already made a sacrifice as far as coming off the bench, doing whatever it takes to help the team. They weren’t willing to help me.”
But the Beard did have a lone regret about his time in OKC: “That we didn’t win a championship.”
Here’s the full video of their chat:
What do you think?
Follow Spencer on Twitter at @SpencerTyrel.
Follow Dime on Twitter at @DimeMag.
Become a fan of Dime Magazine on Facebook HERE.