In an interview with ESPN’s Hannah Storm, James Harden talked honestly about his decision to turn down the Thunder’s four-year, $55 million extension offer, which set off the team trading him to Houston.
“I felt like I already made a sacrifice coming off the bench and doing whatever it takes to help the team, and they weren’t willing to help me,” Harden said.
Quick note: The offer the Thunder made, while not the max, would’ve made him the highest paid sixth man in NBA history.
Harden was asked if he thought he’d be in Oklahoma City forever.
“Yeah, I did,” he said. “I thought we were going to be together forever. Russell Westbrook. James Harden. Kevin Durant.”
Then asked if money wasn’t a factor, would he still be with the Thunder?
“Definitely,” he said. “Definitely. No question.”
Let me add this though, something Harden said after the Thunder lost in the Finals:
“This team is like a family,” Harden said. “Like, we’re really brothers. We hang out most of the time every single day. You won’t find any other team like this. I love it here … This is something special here. A dynasty is being built here. So we’re winning, we’re having fun and we’re brothers. The other stuff, you can’t buy it.”
Apparently, you could for $5 million more.