When the trade sending James Harden to Houston went down, the NBA world started some preemptive reeling. Analysts all over saw the Thunder as considerably weaker. Some even changed their prediction for who would represent the Western Conference in the NBA finals.
Off the court, there were also some reactions. Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, and essentially the OKC team had wished their teammate good luck, but all sounded like they lost a family member. Harden had his own thoughts on the matter:
“After everything we established – everything we had done – you give me an hour?” Harden told Yahoo! Sports on Monday afternoon. “This was one of the biggest decisions of my life. I wanted to go home and pray about it. It hurt me. It hurt.”
–Via Yahoo! Sports
Harden was reportedly given an hour to consider OKC’s offer sheet of 4 years at $54 million.
Considering this, it’s hardly a surprise anymore why he would choose Houston’s offer over an extended stay with the Thunder. With such little time to consider things, market value suddenly becomes more relevant. Furthermore, the equally immediate benefit of a starting role is also emphasized. An hour is hardly enough time to meet with your representation, discuss with family, friends. It’s hard to imagine that an NBA star could communicate with his people and make deeper considerations in the span of an hour.
The idea that you could be a starter and receive an $80 million deal suddenly becomes more and more appealing. There’s hardly any time to consider the case for another title run with the Thunder, an extension to a career that includes playing next to Kevin Durant, and less pressure as the sixth man on the Thunder.
Providing the offensive and defensive spark that he did for the Thunder, one would think a day to mull things over wouldn’t be asking for too much.
Mohamed Abdihakim is a journalism student at Florida Atlantic University. He is a Phoenix Suns fan, who is not prepared for the possibility of Nash winning a title in a Lakers jersey. Mohamed is also a contributor at “Les Snobs”. Interests include International basketball, Mad Men, and blues music. Nearly all stats are credited to Hoopdata or Basketball-Reference.
Twitter handle: @Abdi_hakim