Harden Ready To Commit To Rockets


HOUSTON
– There won’t be long and difficult negotiations between James Harden and the Rockets even though he will be cast into a different role.

The current NBA Sixth Man of the Year, who will become a starter with the Rockets, expects to sign a new contract with his new team before the start of the 2012-13 season opener on Wednesday night at Detroit.

“I’ll let them figure it out, them and my agent,” said following his first practice with the Rockets. “My focus now is on Houston and how to make them better.

It has been reported by ESPN that Harden was offered $55.5 million over four years by the Thunder, who went to the NBA Finals last season and are considered one of the favorites to challenge for the championship again. Now he joins a team that has missed the playoffs for three straight seasons and has a completely rebuilt lineup from a year ago, but has no doubt he’ll agree to terms on new deal before the deadline in three days.

Under the terms of the new collective bargaining agreement, the Rockets could give Harden a four-year deal worth $60.2 million or a five-year contract for $78.6.

“It happened so fast. It happened very fast,” he said. “But this is the position I’m in now. Just have to make the best out of it. I’m with Houston now. I just have to come in here and play hard and win games. To be secure, I feel like I’m in a great position with a great team, young guys who want to work hard. It will work itself out.”

Harden left a farewell message on Twitter to the team and city where he carved out a reputation during his first three NBA seasons.

“I would love to Thank Oklahoma City for 3 amazing years!” Harden tweeted on Sunday. “Teammates and Fans were thee best. The love will always be there. Thanks Again.”

Nevertheless, Harden said he is excited to be starting a new leg of his career.

“Houston is a great place to be, great young guys who are willing to work and try to win games,” he said. “I feel like I can do it and bring my talents here.

“It’s definitely different. It’s something we have to learn to deal with. This is a business. Everything happens for a reason. I’m going to try to bring it and play hard and try to win games and do whatever it takes to win.”

In addition to relocating south in both geography and the standings, Harden also travels to a different place in the rotation, going from super sub off the bench in OKC to a place in the starting lineup next to Jeremy Lin in Houston.

“It’s going to take some time, obviously not starting (in the past) and not having as much attention on me,” he said. “It’s going to take some time, but I think I’m ready for it.”

122 Comments

  1. Eric says:

    What people have to understand the NBA is a business its not always about winning. Oboviously Harden didnt like how much Okc was offering him…

  2. JJ says:

    good trade for both parties

  3. Tee B says:

    James Harden worked just as hard as anyone else. Why not get paid your worth? Westbrook got his? And by the way! Don,t blame the player. blame management the trade.

  4. Me says:

    Ray Allen, maybe you can take a note or two from this. This dude got traded and he ain’t b*tchin! He knew there was a possibility of being traded but did he leave? did he rant about it? did it bruise his ego? no

  5. Micah says:

    I don’t think that $55mil offer was completely what it appeared to be. It certainly wasn’t guaranteed money because that would have put OKC over the luxury cap which a lot of teams are trying to prevent. It must have had a lot of clauses but it certainly wasn’t guaranteed money. If it was he definitely would have stayed (it’s not much different than the 60mil offered by Houston). In Houston though he’ll be given guaranteed money and furthermore he was traded by OKC so Harden certainly is not the villain here. They’re not telling you the whole story for sure.

  6. serg says:

    We don’t know what his motivation for leaving was, but I’m sure he wanted a bigger role, he probably feels he can do more on a young team. But okc offered him 53 mil which is only a 2 mil difference and okc is a contending team. Eather way both teams got great pick ups, I feel thunder got the better deal though kevin martin is a very underated player and has the highest 3pt % and they get 2 futue first rounds and a second round! I’m excited to see the 2 newly equipped teams!

  7. showbaba7 says:

    People always forget that this is business not a charity organization. People have to make business decission and organizatio have to make business decission at their best interest. Good for Harden but better for OKC who quickly made the move before it affected them and other players. OKC is now in a better situation to go bigger. I can’t wait for HEAT vs CELTICs tomorrow game and let the heattttttttttttttttttttttttttt starts now for 2012-2013 season.

  8. Cocamo says:

    Harden should have stayed. I can understand more money but i think for most athletes they would want the ring especially when its so close.

  9. Jae Williams says:

    I don’t quite understand how people can criticize him if he left for more money. This is a business! Teams want to make the most money they can…they do that by winning. Players want to make the most money they can…they do that by playing well, then taking the best contract. Very simple. Players careers are only about average 8-10 years if you are really good…Then all the money you made has to last for the rest of your life! A fool will worry about team loyalty, when the players get older or have an injury, that team will dump you as fast as they can. The only people that should be loyal are the fans…Remember D. Howard optining in last year with Mabic and saying he was just “too loyal”…Did the Houston Rockets care about the players they traded for Harden? Did they ask if they liked to stay with Rockets? Its just a business…Go Brooklyn!

  10. Joe says:

    traded for who?

  11. Timbo$lice says:

    Harden will be a stud here in Houston. Glad to have him and can’t wait to watch him rip the spurs and mavs to shreds!!!!

  12. TTKIN says:

    He turned down a contract with OKC to get one worth 7 million more? Ya something tells me the team chemistry of OKC was not all that it was cracked up to be.

  13. Dave says:

    Anyone sayin this move was about money doesn’t know ANYTHING – this was about the chance to be the main guy on a team NOT the supersub in Kevin Durant’s and Russell’s shadow. I reckon if OKC offered him the same number but said you’re going to start and we’re trading Russell, he would have taken that deal

  14. JimD54 says:

    He Might as well go with the most money, you can’t win a title in the NBA unless the refs want you to anyway, and this year the refs are going to make sure nobody beats the Lakers…….

  15. Hoopzaah says:

    Maybe now they’ll call the 2 or 3 extra steps he takes every time he drives to the basket :-p
    Fantastic player nonetheless!
    I guess only SA has guys who like other colors than green ;-)

  16. Hakeem says:

    He can understand Hardens decision because he want to be a Star. In Oklahoma he was the third best guy on the team but with his talent he should be the first or second option. I think, Money was a factor but he wanted to be a star not a third option.

  17. rupert says:

    i would like the trade more if Houston had kept Jeremy Lamb…

  18. Dave says:

    4 or 5 million for giving up on rings for at least the next 4 years. if he is as half as good a player as his ego thinks he is harden could of worried about more money at the end of the 4 years. i think if you ask the greats who have retired without a ring if they could go back and choose money over rings, the championship chances would be the answer. money isn’t everything in life or the key to happiness

    • K says:

      The difference from then to now is that the greats wern’t making the kind of money these players are making now. Houston isn’t that far away from being a good team. They have room under the cap and if they make some smart moves over the next 2 years everything should work out fine for them.

  19. ArchVince says:

    Harden is a good player (despite choking in the finals last year). But I think Kevin Martin can fill up the void left by Harden. Im an OKC Fan, and so far, I like the deal. OKC had no choice but to trade him instead of letting him become a free agent without getting anything in return. Not to mention, they cant afford to give Harden as much money as Houston is offering since they just renewed KD, Westbrook, and Ibaka’s contract.

    Aside from having a great scorer in Kmart, what i really like about the deal is that it provides OKC an even brighter future in the long run. Jeremy Lamb is an amazing scoring and All star in the making, the potential is there. And knowing the OKC Staff they have an eye for talent (as evident in their picks in the past few years) not to mention the future draft picks which could be high lottery picks (10th -14th). Overall i think both teams benefited from this trade.

  20. Jean_Phi says:

    I would not understand Harden signing a 4-year contract worth 60 million with the Rockets instead of a 4-year contract worth 55.5 million with the Thunder. The Thunder is a team that could win next year and I don’t think this is the case for the Rockets. If he gets a 5-year max deal, that would be more understable because of the money.

  21. ahmed says:

    he just sold his ring for 5M$ per year
    i wish the best for him

  22. pops says:

    Oh my GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOD!!!:| Lin here lin there lin in right lin in left, JEREMY LIN is not in top 30 PG in the league He is so overrated , he got like 6 T,O.s per game last year , he plays ugly he has a weak ball handling he can’t shoot he can’t do nothing he is super overrated because of his story , it’s a great story to tell to your grandsons but AS A PLAYER JEREMY LIN IS OVERRATED HE IS A WEAK WEAK PLAYER!

  23. George says:

    All I can say right now is, his agent and the NBA must be extremely upset right now. They created the new luxury tax rules targeted at OKC and they failed.

    Good job Sam Presti, Harden is good but not worth a max contract. You’ll still be a championship contender without him.

  24. basketballfever_fromTurkey says:

    The loser of this trade is James Harden. He was about to reach to his prime, he was playing on an excellent team that is a championship caliber for many years to come with this core group. And he throws that opportunity away and becomes a star in a mediocre team… You can not build a team around James Harden ! He is not a superstar, he is a great player but just that.. You need a few great players or a few superstars to be a championship caliber team and in Houston they have none other than James Harden. Moreover, Rockets would lose much more games than OKC Thunder and in that picture Harden could only be a Monta Ellis or a Kevin Martin of a few years ago in a mediocre team that fills up the stat sheet day and night but it does not translate into wins or anything. OKC would recover from this, Harden was their 3rd best player and very important for them but he was a 6th man nonetheless. Someone else would step into his shoes anyway. Harden will miss OKC more than OKC would miss Harden !

  25. KC says:

    Harden is going to be feeling it in a few years if Houston doesn’t become a championship team. Not saying they won’t, but seriously, as huge of a Jeremy Lin fan as I am I think he’s still an unproven quantity. Kevin Martin was doing good things for them and now he’s gone. So what kind of team is Harden joining? Did Harden leave OKC because he was tired of being only the 3rd best player? $500,000 is a lot of money for the rest of us, but for someone making over 10 million a year, over the next 4 years, it’s not a tremendous amount of money. So what’s this really about? OKC was a truly special team that just came up short against the greatness that is Lebron–but I think it could have easily gone the other way. It’s so rare to concentrate so much talent in one place, and rarer still to concentrate so much complimentary talent on one team.

    I think in a few years, when Harden becomes one of those 2nd tier all-stars that doesn’t have a title and doesn’t have any likely chance of getting one, he’s going to regret walking out on OKC. Instead of being remembered as a key part of a legendary NBA team, he’s going to be a footnote, easily forgotten by casual fans. “Yeah, the guy with the beard… didn’t he used to play for OKC? What was his name again?” Good job harden. I hope the extra car you buy with that 500K was worth it.

  26. the champ is here says:

    when you’re young, you wanted fame and money but when getting old you’ll want a championship ring even you’re on bench.

  27. Thundefan says:

    Come on guys? Like Durant and Westbrook stayed because they love the Thunder ? They got max deals! The Thunder will regret this very early. kevin martin is gonna be injured 50% of the games……like always.
    And really look up for Harden this season, he is gonna be great in Houston !!

  28. Heat Fan says:

    Yall dont realize people quit their jobs to get new ones to get for another 50 cents an hour. Harden will make $20 million more if he gets the 5 year deal. He could also want to create his own legacy, no one wants to be known as the third wheel basically their whole career

  29. thesniper321 says:

    lol @ people calling me out. How about you read what he posted on his twitter and then realised he left for 4,5 m dollars more. Heck of a loyal player willing to accept sacrifice for his team there…. LMAOOOOOOOOOOO
    Also what are houston expectation this year? Last playoff spot?? Damn I guess all contender are targetting this spot…. WAIT only the trashy team are. GET REAL

  30. specialfriedrice says:

    @LawboyErn…your not a very smart chap are you? Have you heard of a salary cap?

  31. im a thunder fan and i stay in okc and it is a shame that harden left with the chemsitry he had with the fans and the players if he had problems not starting or money im sure it was in discussions in regards to his contract. athough the gap between what the thunder offered him and what the rockets offered him isnt that much of a difference but i could understand being overshadowed to an extent by durant and westbrook but lets think about the miami heat all three players took less money to be apart of something great and look what it has gotten them and it was even the same in boston. now although he has proven that he is a talented player the rate of success will not be great in houston until they get back to prominence as it would now be in okc but if that makes him happy or whatever it might be then its good for him and his family. but the thunder did get the benefit of getting rid of some dead weight no offense but cook and alridge did not turn out to be talented as expected and they get kevin martin that is a porven player and another potential star in lamb plus future picks so if rockets have a bad year then yay thunder on draft picks but it is a business so it is unfortunate we dont have the market to support all three but still we are benefitted in some way

  32. Dave says:

    its wasnt even about the money..he wants to better himself..he was actually just a bench play for the thunder..stop hating

  33. Bok says:

    Good luck Harden all the best!!!!

  34. perkele says:

    rockets and bulls never met in the playoffs during the 90s so how can you possibly say that

  35. Bob M says:

    Harden isn’t a max player period. He will get the max contract and the once proud Houston franchise is in bad shape. Lin, Asik, and Harden are your high dollar players. Lin: awesome for 2 months and season ending knee injury. Asik: 2nd unit center that has no offensive game. Harden: an Olympian because Dwayne Wade was injured, he flops too much, and, other than that, has a real crafty scoring game. The Rockets are locked in to these 3 guys.
    If they did a trade for Pau Gasol and some draft picks, this move would make some sense.

  36. ThunderSuperSonics says:

    im happy for harden.. much love and respect to a great ball player… but thunder will be the same cause kevin martin is just as good ….peace yall

  37. Rafael says:

    Well money is a factor here, but it is not THE factor. In OKC he will never get the chance to see if his talents can take him to that next level. I strongly believe he has the talents to be on a level of superstardom. Not saying he will be a Lebron or Durant, thats a little bit much, but to be on the level of top 5-10 players in the league is within this guys reach. Even if he doesnt make it that far, at least he will be able to try in Houston. Oh and BTW, Houston has a history of making gutsy moves to improve teams in 1 or 2 seasons. Darryl Morey doesnt sit still. So you can bet that in the next 3 years something big happens that makes them a contender again. Hopefully that time, the big moves dont get injured (i.e. Yao, TMac) Great move for Harden, and the Rockets… Stupid, stupid move for OKC. Completely ruined their chemistry and they are out of title talks this year. The Lakers LOVE this move!!! Lakers/Spurs, Heat in the finals for sure now.

  38. 12oz says:

    jeremy lin, james harden, omer asik= new big three (sarcasm)
    i do like asiks game though, would have liked to see him stay in chicago

  39. Eirik says:

    Its not just about the money. In Houston he´ll be a starter, maybe even a franchise player. That would never happen in OKC. He was just the “super sub” for them.

  40. Themoneyworthit says:

    remember that houston can sign him for a YEAR more and the last year its the most valuable of the contract so its 24 million more if im not wrong ,so maybe yes, its about the money ;) , and he may want to be the go-to-guy too, but only Harden and people around it knows.

  41. D says:

    Rockets only have 2 titles because jordan was playing baseball for those 2 years

  42. Alberto Levy says:

    Also Texas has less taxes and since uncle sam will take have off his winnings, I guess 4.5 mil is a big deal.

  43. 007 says:

    just wondering what harden previously said about him willing to receive a smaller contract so that he would still be able to play with the thunder since he has that special brotherly bond with the thunder.. Only time can tell if this is a good trade..

  44. Alberto Levy says:

    You guys are missing the point. This is the time in his career were he can get a big max deal and he deserved it. Okc coudnt afford him. Im sure he also wanted to be a starter and go to a hotter climate with a bigger fan base. Plus if he can get a 5 yr max contract for 78mil that is something okc will not be able to get. Personally Im a Bulls fan and I think that he dissapeared in the playoffs and thats why okc rather get a youger player that might do the same for cheaper.

  45. kdsapi says:

    Ok, let me talk about the money first since thats the the highlight of the conversation. 4.5m difference, some of us will never see 4.5 mil so we can never say oh thats a little much off in both figures. Secondly its a business, if i am at a job and my co-workers get the praise everyday when we doing the same job, get treated better than me, get the main job and am just a back up when am needed, then going to work everyday wouldn’t be motivating, even if making the company more profitable just being a backup. Again, the company gonna be bigger not me. If another company offer me even just $10 more in my pay and making me the major man in the work place hell yeah am gonna take it, even if my mom herself had a problem with it. Now to basketball, we can only state our opinion on this, but he isn’t the man there, never will be. He have to go to play everyday sitting on the bench waiting for his name to call when KD gets his own shoes deal, i hear KD in nike commercial saying he gets all his team mates to where his shoes. Come on who gonna be happy with that. Westbrook who is a great player, yet a loose canon gets more praise and money over him. Hey ppl the reality is, Basketball is money, thats what we had a lockout for last season, not because of a championship or guys sitting in a room quarreling who is a better team from who is not, or talking abt who should stay where. Everything revolves around the money. Lose a hundred dollars tomorrow and see how you behave. Hey, i love OKC but business is business, basketball goes on. Enjoy your time in Houston, you might get a shoe deal, you will be on posters, the ball is round you might get a championship; no one saw the mavericks championship coming. Basketball is money, believe it or not in todays world life is money. Peace.

  46. Ok, let me talk about the money first since thats the the highlight of the conversation. 4.5m difference, some of us will never see 4.5 mil so we can never say oh thats a little much off in both figures. Secondly its a business, if i am at a job and my co-workers get the praise everyday when we doing the same job, get treated better than me, get the main job and am just a back up when am needed, then going to work everyday wouldn’t be motivating, even if making the company more profitable just being a backup. Again, the company gonna be bigger not me. If another company offer me even just $10 more in my pay and making me the major man in the work place hell yeah am gonna take it, even if my mom herself had a problem with it. Now to basketball, we can only state our opinion on this, but he isn’t the man there, never will be. He have to go to play everyday sitting on the bench waiting for his name to call when KD gets his own shoes deal, i hear KD in nike commercial saying he gets all his team mates to where his shoes. Come on who gonna be happy with that. Westbrook who is a great player, yet a loose canon gets more praise and money over him. Hey ppl the reality is, Basketball is money, thats what we had a lockout for last season, not because of a championship or guys sitting in a room quarreling who is a better team from who is not, or talking abt who should stay where. Everything revolves around the money. Lose a hundred dollars tomorrow and see how you behave. Hey, i love OKC but business is business, basketball goes on. Enjoy your time in Houston, you might get a shoe deal, you will be on posters, the ball is round you might get a championship; no one saw the mavericks championship coming. Basketball is money, believe it or not in todays world life is money. Peace.

  47. twolfs says:

    I dont have a problem with harden wanting to get his money,but with the fact that he kept talking about sacrifice right after the finals and at media day and that they have a potential dynasty but and then he declines an offer of 4.5 million less of what he wanted .He could have said i will let my agent and Sam Presti take care of it and be done with it.Dont have a problem him wanting the max but just how he handled the situation.

    As for the thunder they would have been cripled financially if harden would have taken the contract of 55 mil.okc would have been over tax and had to pay 15 million dollars extra the first year over tax then it gets even worse.by trading him they will pay 780 thousand this year but they get an expiring contract in kevin martin an interesting prospect and 3 draft picks.also how the hell does teams around the league let okc get 2 players that would have been lottery picks had they came after their freshman year both with all star potential.

  48. RT says:

    They traded him while they could still get something in return before he would walk away and leave them with donuts

  49. The funny thing about all this is that people say only 4.5 million less to stay and get a ring quicker. Picture this If you were James and you are coming off the bench and you are about to hit your prime with an expiring contract. Maybe the 55 mil was not the only thing, maybe Harden wanted to be the guy, Not one of the guys. Yes there maybe that selfish 4.5 mil was something he cared about, but it wasn’t the ONLY reason why he declined. Rebuilding is something to think about but when he was drafted he was in a rebuilding process. The only difference is OKC had proven young players in KD and West brook. It may take a awhile for Harden to be a perennial all star but he will have his chance.

  50. cesar says:

    Hardens career will be like GILBERT ARENAS in the past.. that will happen to him

  51. WoW! Nice move by Houston says:

    With Linsanity & Harden making up the back-court, Houston just got a lot better. They still need to fix their Front court though since Yao & Scola have split.

  52. MIAMI HEAT says:

    Money hungry idiot

  53. poorman says:

    money talks..but seeing those guys who just performed for 1 good season then leave their team for another just for the money didn’t have a successful career..sorry harden soon your just like ariza!!!

  54. me says:

    nice Anti-Big3

  55. owzie21 says:

    - hey sniper! money is what we think the reason why harden moved.. but we really dont know why! maybe you’re correct, maybe not! maybe harden want to be in a team in which he can establish his name as the team star because that would really not happen in OKC, he will be just another supporting cast to durant! but for me, its not the money! its the opportunity!

  56. Kris Wayne says:

    I think there’s more to this than just the contract. 4.5 Million in 4 years isn’t a whole lot of money for these nba stars (except for the luke man). I think that there is something that they’re not telling us!

  57. Byrd says:

    Harden should have settled for less to be with a contending team those couple of mill would multiple later as he would become a superstar on a winning team. Now he’s just gone be a star on a not winning team

  58. Cactus says:

    @thesniper321 Who are you to comment on his career decisions. He has to support himself and his family after he retires from the age of 30ish onwards. Who know what will happen in the future and if he’d ever have the chance to capitalise on his value as he could and did do now. If NBA teams and staff treat roster decisions as a business, especially with the new CBA, then why is it not acceptable for a player to do the same. Be happy for the guy getting the chance now to be the franchise player rather than the third option and having financial security in the long term.

  59. Master's in Basketball says:

    I am kind of disappointed to see James Harden leave OKlahoma City (OKC) Thunder to join the Houston Rockets just because of more money. I still can’t believe he rejected a salary offer from Sam Presti of OKC thunder of 13.5 US million dollars per year for the next four years just because he wanted to make more money. I believe he made around 5 US million dollars last season. OKC Thunder tried their best to keep him but I guess it’s all about more money. Well, James Harden has his choice of how much he wants to make for the next four years. Just like each of us on earth. It is his choice to reject the offer from OKC Thunder and he knows best of what he wants.

    As a fan, all I can say is I wish him the best. Regardless, I wish OKC Thunder can still win this upcoming 2012 to 2013 Season’s NBA title.

    Master’s in Basketball…

  60. Master's in Basketball says:

    I am kind of disappointed to see James Harden leave OKlahoma City (OKC) Thunder to join the Houston Rockets just because of more money. I still can’t believe he rejected a salary offer from Sam Presti of OKC thunder of 13.5 US million dollars per year for the next four years just because he wanted to make more money. I believe he made around 5 US million dollars last season. OKC Thunder tried their best to keep him but I guess it’s all about more money. Well, James Harden has his choice of how much he wants to make four the next four years. Just like each of us on earth. It is his choice to reject the offer from OKC Thunder and he knows best of what he wants.

    As a fan, all I can say is I wish him the best. Regardless, I wish OKC Thunder can still win this upcoming 2012 to 2013 NBA title.

    Master’s in Basketball…

  61. badsnickerz says:

    4.5 millions? that’s a lot of money.Do you think teams will be loyal to a player if he is not productive anymore? Good move Harden.

  62. Hugo says:

    thesniper321 is unfortunately right

  63. Bret says:

    It obviously wasn’t just about the money as they offered him pretty close to max money. It also obviously wasn’t about winning a championship. While I never expected Harden to be a player who needed to have his ego stroked, he obviously is. He wanted the prestige of being a max guy and he wanted to prove that he’s not just a super sub but a super star. I just don’t think he appreciated what a great situation he was in and is going to be in for a big shock in Houston. I wonder if he really thought he could get the max from OKC if he played hardball? Like they say, if you’re going to play hardball, you have to be ready to accept the consequences if your demands aren’t met. His consequence is being traded to a rebuilding Houston franchise. Unfortunately, I think Houston has committed so much money to these guys that aren’t proven that they could be rebuilding for quite some time. I wish him well but I really think he’s going to struggle this year. Even if his numbers go up, his efficiency will suffer, as will his ego with losing…just ask Kevin Love how much stats mean when you losing!

    • K says:

      Oh how quickly a sports fan can turn a wrath on a professinoal athlete. Why do the sports fan feel like these professional athletes owe us anything? These guys make decisions based on what’s best for them and their families period! Which once you think about it; don’t we all?

  64. Hari says:

    I’m actually happy for him… Money or no money, this is a guy in his early 20s, about to reach his prime in a year or two, and who is really talented. It just seems like a waste to me to be stuck in a team for another FIVE YEARS who are only planning on using him off the bench. Yes, granted he was the 6th man of the year but still… think it would be better for someone of his caliber and age to be in the starting lineup of a team..

  65. keso says:

    wrong move okc…. see you on first round!

  66. mackee says:

    Thanks Harden,as a laker fan you just did us a big favor .

  67. HC says:

    thesniper321, staying in OKC, not only he will not make the most money he could make, OKC is never going to be Harden’s team. Going to Rocket is best for both OKC and Harden in that Harden finally gets a chance of leading a team and putting his imprint in the game while OKC gets good pieces in return. I think its fair for him to bid farewell for a city that he has put his heart and time in for the past 3 years. Let’s wish them both the best.

  68. Zech says:

    I would have stayed in OKC just to have a shot at the title. He’s definitely not going to have that shot in Houston where Lin is the best player they have, and Jeremy still has a lot to prove in my opinion.

  69. Eaza says:

    I don’t understand how people can be mad at a person for wanting to better themselves. Although it was about the money, it was more about the Future…In OKC, Harden would forever be a bench player and would always be third fiddle to Durant and Westbrook. In Houston he has a chance to become All Star and help lead his team to prominence. Houston has always managed to stay competitive even though you all say they are Trash. This addition and the fact that Houston will still have cap space to sign a Max Contract really puts them in a great position. Dont be Mad cause Houston is building a team the right way. Without out Tanking or having a super destination where all the superstars want to join up together.

    • KC says:

      Who’s mad at Harden? Maybe some of the OKC fans are, but I was rooting for Miami this summer. Everyone gets exactly what they deserve, even if they don’t realize it and think life is unfair.

      Harden made his bed, now he has to sleep in it. Sounds like OKC was really clear and up front with him, but Harden wanted more. I think he’s going to find out soon enough that there’s “more” to the NBA than just money. Everyone thinks they are being savvy when they say “NBA is just about money”, but it’s not true. There wouldn’t be millions of fans if that was true. NBA is also about heart, about the will to win despite the odds, and the comraderie that comes from teamwork and sticking together when the chips are down.

      I’m not mad about Harden leaving. He’s doing what he thinks is best for him, and he’s going to find out soon enough if he was right or wrong. That’s the beauty of life–feedback comes quick, if only people would keep their eyes open enough to see that what happens to them is the result of choices they made at some point.

  70. Gabriel says:

    OKC should not have let this happen, Harden is going to explote into an all star and Kevin Martin in not proved as a force in the playoffs. The franchise made three steps back, L.A Lakers going to dominate the young young kids.

    • K says:

      OKC will be just fine! With a core group still in place (Durant, Westbrook and Serg Ibaka) and with Maynor returning, they’ll still be amongest the top 3 in the West.

  71. 4dawyn says:

    i think the ron artest elbow had an impact on his brain…

    • K says:

      Wow!!! If you truly understood head injuries, I would like to think you wouldn’t have made such an insensitive remark!

  72. thesniper321 says:

    This dude dares to say thanks to the thunders fans when all he cares about is money? If you leave for money don’t act like have loyalty. Move out and shut up. Can’t believe this dude accepted to go from a title contender to a trashy team for for only 4,5 millions more. wooow poor thunders fans

    • dydy says:

      4.5 mil over 4-5 years don’t equal 4.5 mil buddy just saying…

    • Hustey says:

      Ye, I thought there was gonna be a much bigger money difference! O_o

    • j says:

      Why are the rockets a trashy team? I understand okc arw contenders but dont bash the rockets for him leaving. He got shipped out. He didnt have to sign the extension now. He could have resigned at the end of the season. Okc sent harden away, he didnt leave the team cause he wantes to. He felt he deserved more money and okc felt differently and shipped him away

      • whycomment says:

        very true i like how its always the players that get blamed when they get traded or dont sign no on ever blames it on the guy that signs the checks. he gets more money and a starting spot and he gets to see what hes really made of. lets be real here its now his team you can say what you want about it bing jeramy lyns team but lets face it harden is a bigger factor. the rockets are going to go as far as harden can take them its his team.

      • Krishawn-MIA says:

        not to mention harden said he was willing to take a cut so money wasnt his sole goal PLUS HE WAS TRADED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • heatnation says:

      not if you were given the same opportunity. its a business! he was worth the $ so he took a diffent road. deal with it!

    • AussieCeltic says:

      Maybe, just maybe, its not about money. you don’t know that!

      It could be that he was sick of being the 4th best player on a team, not starting and taking his game to the next level..
      He was also the last of the young 4 to get an offer, this could have played on his mind, and may have offended him.

      My only point is don’t judge people if you don’t know them..

      In my opinion, he wanted to be more relevant in the team, have a bigger role in the team, he only averaged 16 pts a game last year, which seems a bit low, for someone who most/all teams would sign for the max if the opportunity was there.
      This move very much makes the Rockets relevant again although i thought KMart would be integral to any success they had this year, JHarden is probably a step up. But this is a move based on the future, he’s gonna be the face of the Rockets, and take them to the playoffs as early as next year..

      Peace.

    • LawboyErn says:

      You’re one to talk. It’s not just about the $4.5 million… Getting a max contract means getting recognised for your efforts. OKC offers both Durant and Westbrook max contract, so if they really value Harden that much, they’d do the same. What OKC is telling him is: “You’re not as important as Durant or Westbrook, so we’re not going to offer you a max contract and keep you to the bench despite you being an All-Star.” whereas there are teams out there willing to pay Harden the max contract AND start him due to recognition of his talent. Why stay at OKC and be treated like a second rate player when you can go to a team who treats you like the All-Star that you are?

      • Rastaman says:

        We alll talk about sacrifice, but in Hardens case it was a no brainer. We can all say Lebron et al took less omey, but they already signed and reaped the benefits from two max contracts plus no basket ball related income makes what they left on the table trivial for them. Harden deserved to be paid for what he is worth, takimg a near to 10% cut in my salary would be significant, regrdless of how much you make.

    • steve hilder says:

      poor thunder fans really? the thunder pay guys like collison and ibaka and then make harden out to be the bad guy for wanting some money. there aint no loyalty in basketball, if harden had signed 6 months down the line the thunder wud have looked at trading him. u cant even say he left for money THEY TRADED HIM!!

    • Money Can't Buy Titles says:

      Couldn’t agree more. When I read how much he turned down, and now see it was less then $5 million shy of a max deal, you see why Presti dealt him. He clearly was after more money or a starting job. Neither of which OKC could offer. It’s a shame because with the chemistry OKC had, and with Maynor back and another year of experience, they really had the potential to be a dynasty if Harden extended.

      After losing 40+ games in Houston, Harden will no doubt be thinking twice about that extra $1.2 million he made while he’s at home after failing to make the playoffs, watching OKC make another title run. Martin could wind up getting a ring, and at best all Harden will do this season is learn how hard it is to be a talented starter on a team with no real chance at winning anything but a handful of games.

    • Harden999 says:

      A trashy team? That has a bigger fan base and a bigger city and a bigger history in basketball. He goes from being a bench player to being the main man and he gets more money on top of that. Houston also have the cap space this summer for a marquee free agent, and with Lin and Harden there Houston is a desirable place to go. Its a good move for him and a good move all around for everyone.

    • #1 ROCKETS FAN says:

      man y you have to call the rockets trashy????? Because they’re rebuilding? A trashy team doesn’t plan for the future…a trashy team continues to stay below average while signing washed up players with no help from the draft. Rockets tried the yao and tmac deal and it blew up but that doesn’t make them trashy. For once a star doesn’t go to a team with stars already on it. but i guess that’s how you like your league to be. LETS GO ROCKETS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • southflaheatnation says:

        I really like some of the pieces that the rockets have adding harden to jeremy lin and chandlar parsons make the rockets a playoff caliber team they arent trash by a long shot #GOHEAT

    • slider821 says:

      “Thank you OKC fans but $55m isn’t enough, I should earn more than KD and Westbrook, can’t you tell I deserve it from my finals performance…or lack thereof?”

      • slider821 says:

        wait now that I think about it…given his poor play in the finals, maybe he realized he wasn’t a championship caliber player, too much pressure, now he earns a bit more on a team that has no chance of going anywhere in the playoffs. Knowing that probably gives him peace of mind.

    • Me says:

      Poor comment sniper!!!!!! People have to realise it’s a business. If you work in a job with people who are you friends and another company poaches you with more money most people would jump ship. Okc and harden did the right thing cause if they waited okc gets nothing, harden becomes a villain.

    • Don says:

      Trashy team, thesniper321? The Rockets have 2 championships trophies, what about your Thunder? You can’t be emotional as a player because money is all that matters likewise to the team. It’s business, man.

      • FettaFetta says:

        Dude, the Thunder have been a franchise for 4 years. I didnt see the rockets win a championship in their first 4 years.

      • Average Joe says:

        @FettaFetta dude, the Thunder has been a franchise for more than 20 years. They are the old Seattle Supersonics, remember? Funny how most of y’all remember only the Thunder days and not the Sonics. Durant was actually drafted back when they were still in Seattle, so during his rookie year, Durant wore (yes) Sonics green and gold. Collison was the only other player from their Sonics days. So it’s not like the franchise is only four years old.

        The Rockets won two championships in their first 25 years. How many championships did the Sonics/Thunder win? That’s right! None! So for all y’all who’s saying the Rockets are a trashy franchise, know your NBA history first fools.

      • RG says:

        @Average Joe: Actually, the Sonics won one championship in ’79. Looks like you need to look up your NBA history.

    • JaZZa says:

      I totally agree. For the sake of 4.7mil over 4 years. Mind you, maybe he wants a 5 year deal, that last year is certainly worth it. But is Harden really a 5 year deal quality player??

    • Logical Guy says:

      I would move from OKC to Houston for the same pay. Better city.

    • jobhunter says:

      Just like any other person, we want the job that gives us the best pay.

      Don’t be naive.

      Everyone wants to get the best they can for what they do.

    • djst0rm says:

      And just what makes the Rockets a “trashy team”?

    • SURELY says:

      Can’t you understand what you’ve read? he was traded and that was OKC management’s decision, NOT HIS’.

      • JK says:

        He was traded because he didnt accept the deal, with the team thunder have not everyone can get a max deal, he got offered last because he wasnt a starter.

    • Danny B says:

      I think it is more about his agent pushing for the max contract if anything. Harden wasn’t the one negotiating the contract, you have to blame his agent in this situation. Besides he would be going to Houston for 24 million more since they can offer him the fifth year that the Thunder can’t. He didn’t betray the thunder, if Harden was the one controlling the negotiations he would have take the pay cut and still be a Thunder. Agents are looking after themselves as well so you cant blame Harden for this, its his agent looking for his best interest and thats the business side of the NBA.

      • Lakers in 2013??? I think YES! says:

        wake up man, Harden makes the final decision on his contract talks, not his agent. An agent, like a lawyer will give their opinion and suggest tactics, but at the end of the day if Harden wanted to say yes to the $55 million deal to stay with OKC, then he would have done so.

    • me says:

      “only 4,5 millions more” LOL

    • Rm4 says:

      Uhh……Harden was traded, not a free agent. He was traded to the rockets by the Thunder. He has to sign the contract.

    • mr person says:

      He didnt ask to be traded and he wasnt a free agent. If you’re gonna hate on someone, hate on LeBron

      • JK says:

        You cant just say hate on LeBron, what about Dwight Howard or Chris Paul. Even if they didnt leave through free agency. Orlando got Aaron Affloalo and Al Harrington and probably some picks. He wrecked their finals series with the rumours and stuff and who is the Magics franchise player. Its starting to work out now though for the Hornets with Anthony Davis and Eric Gordon.

      • K says:

        Hey when say Lebron you need to say WORLD CHAMPION!!!!! Stop hating!!! This article isn’t about Lebron!!!!!

    • Jay says:

      nearly everyone cares about the money. if it was all about team loyalty, why don’t all the players get paid the same? why don’t all the players come from the city/state they represent? even kevin durant, as humble as he appears to most people, still asked for/accepted a max contract, showing that a) he cares about the money and b) he thinks highly enough of his skills that he thinks he deserves to be paid more than the rest of his teammates. most of the players that have taken less maney then they could have demanded have done so because they want to win, not because they care about team loyalty. obviously, harden’s desire to be on an immediately winning team is worth less than 5 million dollars (which, in case you’re forgetting, is a large amount of money. even after being taxed, this amount represents a lifetime of working for many people). even though he’s left for more money, he’s still allowed to thank the fans that cheered his name, wore his jerseys, and paid for the tickets that meant he got paid in the first place. I mean, if someone gave me money, I’d definitely be thankful.

    • JKD says:

      Instead of bashing Harden for not sacrificing, you should blame ownership for not spending the money to compete for multiple titles. OKC is a small market team, but harden just turned down a subpar offer from a team crying poverty that made 30-35 million PROFIT last season. Why ownership spend the money to compete for greatness and stay elite eludes my understanding. Money is very trivial when you are an elite contending team which shows ownership wants to compete but nt spend a whole lot on its core

      • K says:

        You can’t blame Harden or the OKC Managemnt for this outcome, it’s the business side of sports! Teams are trying to protect themselves and make a profit and players are trying to protect their financial futures. The average player’s earning power last 3-5 years at best! You have a few fortunate athletes who are able to put together a nice little 10+ years career, but even then their still in their mid to late 30’s when they retire. OKC will be ok because they still have their main core in (Durant and Westbrook). Houston now has a good building block with James Harden and Harden will hopefully be able to build a solid financial foundation for his family while also returning Houston back to being at least a playoff team!

    • Rodney moser says:

      Harden is not a starter and he will found out soon enough the difference in coming off the bench and being a
      starter in the NBA. He should have stayed put but his ego got in the way, look he is rich regardless but i think
      Houston is over estimating his ability

      • K says:

        Only time will tell! Let’s evaluate that as the season unfold! Even if he’s not a starter then Houston can just simply bring him off their bench.

  73. DeeBee007 says:

    That was a good move by both teams Harden is recognized for his true talents good job OKC & ROCKETS #Letgo