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Wednesday, August 14th, 2013 at 10:10 am  |  51 responses

Kevin Durant and James Harden Miss Playing Together (VIDEO)

The former tandem talks past and future.

Former OKC Thunder teammates Kevin Durant and James Harden chat with Grantland about coping with no longer playing on the same team. KD and Harden may miss their star trio with Russell Westbrook, but both stars are excited about the future.

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  • JibbsIsBallin

    OKC should’ve kept these guys together; it made them a top team in the West along with Russel.. Also, didn’t realize that J Rose was holding a baseball bat until he started speaking.

  • Stepfan Raiford

    I really want to hear James’s side of the story. I still don’t understand why Sam Presti over thought this. James had a year left on his contract and he was apart of the team that went to the finals. The augment could be made that they don’t beat the Spurs without James. Why break up a team that had two top players in the top 5 and one in James at the time, in the top 15? I don’t get it. I truly believe he would not have been a distraction in the final year of his contract. Maybe if KD spoke to management and said we got something special here, maybe James would still be there. But KD isn’t built like that. He’s to laid back.

  • pposse

    small market team, luxury tax, and they picked Ibaka over Hardens services to retain.

  • Stepfan Raiford

    If the Spurs made it work, OKC could have done the same.

  • pposse

    Duncan accepted a salary half of what he was getting from his prior contract at the beginning of this last season. Ginobli now signed with the Spurs for potentially less than what he would get anywhere else. Those guys are team players at the tail end of their careers. The luxury tax was set up differently prior to 2012 too.; like now if your a repeat offender the money you owe is exponentially more or so. You can’t blame guys like KD, Westbrook and Harden to get the most money they can when they are young i guess.

  • Junkie

    Ginobili is getting really little money but he also had a ghastly season and he is 36 and he might retire after this season.

  • Anthony

    These some real Carl Thomas…”Emotional” kats, ain’t they?!? I mean damn , they all but did the Color Purple..”Me & You shall never part Ma-ti-da-da” thing… Call me super competitive but I liked it when I had the PERCEPTION that kats were enemies once they stepped on that court in a different jersey. (Please NO Kendrick Lamar, “Control” analogy on friendly competition…pls just don’t)

  • spit hot fiyah

    okc could still have kept the same team for more year without any luxury tax implications and had a legit shot at the title.

    do you really think some other team was about to pay ginobili 7 mill a year this summer?

  • LakeShow

    I can dig on your opinion. I actually think I share it.
    But it’s hard for me to hate on people being nice and sharing their true feelings.

  • MUBWAR

    ”I think james is the best guard in the league right now” durant said. I wonder how russell feels about that? who is the better guard y’all? Russell or Harden? i’m personally going with the dynamite known as westbrook.

  • pposse

    your right i dont think ginobli signed for less. He prolly shouldn’t get 7 million either. Nobody would have gave him that cheddar.

    My guess with Sam Presit is that there probably was some sort of communication breakdown before they traded Harden, but at the end of the day if they got to the finals again and lost (with Harden) then the problem about the luxury tax and resigning the players would have been a lot more complicated..ESPN would get involved, the fans would have been passionate about signing him and putting the team into the luxury tax, all of that can take a toll on managerial decisions … maybe it was just easier this way

  • Unthony

    I’m pretty sure what Kevin Durant really meant to say is about James Harden’s position as shooting guard not point guard

  • Lito

    Big mistake trading JHARDEN OKC

  • spit hot fiyah

    i just feel like if u have a legit shot at the finals, u take it. if they did that and lost or won, and let’s say they don’t keep harden, they would still be in the exact same situation they are in now. no harden no kevin martin. all they got out of that trade is steven adams and lamb.
    to me it’s worth keeping him on his rookie deal for one more year and have a chance at the title

  • RKJ92

    Yep, you’re on the money!

  • RKJ92

    They are pretty much identical but Harden gives his team more win shares so I would have to give a slight advantage to him, there is no right, or wrong choice between the two though. I would think Harden could also mesh better to any team he’s on due to his effective scoring, and innate passing ability for a 2 guard.

  • CCT

    Have no fear KD, you get to run summer games with your boy J Beiber, instead.

  • MUBWAR

    i never understood that win share crap.

  • RKJ92

    It’s just how many wins a particular player can add to a team based on his overall performance offensively/defensively on the court, pretty easy to grasp once you get it. It’s just advanced statistics passed your run of the mill ppg, rpg, apg, spg, and bpg.

  • LakeShow

    Booooo!

    Win shares…. wow….

  • RKJ92

    LOL I knew you would say something about it, then down vote me.. why you so mean LakeShow :(

  • SirGrey

    Harden: “They left me with nothing.”
    SHOTS FIRED !

  • LakeShow

    That was most certainly me and I’d down vote it again if I could!
    Win shares/Shmin dares

  • RKJ92

    lol be nice! :( I’m not even putting up a fight.. Screw win shares.. Shmin dares all day long ;)

  • Max

    Westbrook’s defense is way better tho.

  • pposse

    im on the same boat, if you have a shot for a championship you gotta take it at all costs…but at the same time we are not management and don’t care about the success of our team financially long term or short term. There’s probably a balance to it. The Thunder are money either way..two top stars in the game, sold out stadium for the next 10 years …the owner wins either way.

  • Max

    I was thinking why not amnesty Perk and sign Harden?

  • RKJ92

    That’s why I’d say it’s a coin toss I’d just rather have Harden on my team then Westbrook knowing what they both contribute. That’s just my personal opinion, I wouldn’t fault anyone for going Westbrook either I love what both players bring to their respected teams! I Still think OKC should have beat the Heat in the 2012 playoffs but somehow the Heat pulled through miraculously because Durant was on fiiiiiireeeeee…

  • Max

    Yeah, and the Heat did it again this year.

  • RKJ92

    It still wouldn’t have been enough money (for what Harden wanted), and it was also an ego thing because Harden wanted to be the man on his OWN team or else he would have just resigned. Still think he should have stayed though.. they could have created something special. For sure they would have beat the Heat in a few years but unfortunately this is how the cards dropped.. :/

  • RKJ92

    And If they didn’t sign Oden for this year I would have said they had a 50/50 shot at coming out of the east. I truly believe it will be a Heat – Rockets (darkhorse) finals though.. unless San Antonio finds the fountain of youth again. I have no faith in the Clippers still, and Golden State won’t make the finals on offense alone, it will definitely be a very interesting season.

  • scott

    It appears that J-Rose is holding them hostage.

  • Ishmael Jenkins

    Sucks that they couldn’t give it one more try against the Heat. I understand why they felt like they had to trade Harden. But I just wanted to see them try one more time.

  • Ishmael Jenkins

    After what happened in the 2nd round against Memphis, I’m not sure KD cares about win shares…he just wanted Westbrook on the floor. Those two probably would have gotten that team to the Conference Finals by themselves if they both played well.

  • Ishmael Jenkins

    Dudes can’t be friends bro? They were building something and then, almost over night, it was over. 3 games from winning a championship. Let’s be real. If you were dating a girl and you were about to throw your player’s card away for good and get her that ring and she left you in the middle of the night while everything was going great, how would you feel?

    They competed pretty hard against each other last season and I’m sure with Dwight in Houston now, they’ll have even better matchups. But there’s nothing wrong with them missing playing together or saying that they miss playing together.

  • Ishmael Jenkins

    Not sure Harden wanted to be the man on his own team. He wasn’t given enough time to really think about the deal that was on the table. Presti could have given him more time. He deserved more time.

  • raylikenoother

    or join J-Harden in Houston

  • The Seed

    KD losing that fire again, he is just to nice, working out with Bron, saying he is always number 2. He needs to man up, from crying on his mom shoulders two years ago. Harden is an enemy now KD. Westbrook is the leader of OKC, I have been saying this for a while. OKC goes the way Westbrook plays if you know basketball. KD to me needs to take a step back and let Westbrook continue to lead. KD has already stated out of his mouth Westbrook is the emotional leader of the team. If only KD had Westbrook fire, KD needs to man up and stop this friend crap and play ball to be on the top.

  • qivucuzusywa

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    OKC should’ve kept these guys
    together; it made them a top team in the West along with Russel.. Also,
    didn’t realize that J Rose was holding a baseball bat until he started
    speaking.

  • Dylan

    Wut has been seen cannot be unseen.

  • Busta213

    1. Working out with the best should make you a better player, no? It was only for a couple of days – a little bit of insight into each other and then they move on.
    2. A lot of great players have cried after a big loss including the likes of MJ and Kobe
    3. KD doesn’t need to be his team’s emotional leader, but he does need to be their best player. Westbrook needs to improve his control and decision making to warrant more control of the team – especially late in games where he sometimes gets reckless and selfish.
    4. wanting players to hate each other is for the fans. You only need to dislike your opponent on the court…..and who doesn’t want the bragging rights that come from beating friends?

  • RKJ92

    Like I said they have almost identical win shares, both are excellent players that add 12 wins to their respective teams, I was praying WB would come back because KD, and him make a formidable team :)

  • RKJ92

    I read somewhere about Harden telling Presti he wanted to be the man, or be the number 2 option after KD, and because that wouldn’t happen, so the day after Presti pulled the trigger in fear of losing him in F/A.

  • Ishmael Jenkins

    Yeah, losing that fire after he just had his best season in the league. Tough guy on the Internet telling Kevin Durant, the second best basketball player in the world, to man up. Hilarious. Telling Kevin Durant to take a step back and let Russell Westbrook take over…also hilarious. Maybe you should just stick to loving all over the Lakers and leave the other 29 teams to other people to discuss. This is getting pretty embarrassing for you.

  • Ishmael Jenkins

    Great points. Thank you for pointing out how Kobe cried after losing to the Spurs in 2002-2003 while he sat on the bench and he was close after losing to the Celtics in the 07-08 Finals while he walked off the court in Boston.

  • Ishmael Jenkins

    If you look at how he had his arms around KD and Westbrook while the final seconds were ticking down in Miami last year, I don’t believe he would get to the point just 5 months later where he would tell Presti he wanted his own team or wanted Westbrook to take a step back and let him be the number 2 guy. Plus, like he said, they had just spent the summer together with the Olympic team.

  • RKJ92

    Man I am telling you what I read, this has nothing to do with how you feel, it has to do with a sports reporter doing their job, and covering the facts. I am just passing the information along.

  • Ishmael Jenkins

    Link?

  • RKJ92

    that was a year, and months ago do you seriously think I have that link saved for a day like today? be real man..

  • Ishmael Jenkins

    Sounds bad if you just say you read it somewhere and present it as a fact if you can’t find the link. Google is a wonderful tool.

  • RKJ92

    Sure it looks bad but I’m not googling a link from almost 2 years ago for the sake of trying to prove you wrong while i’m at work.

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