PHOENIX It seemed like a potential collision of local popularity and tactical symmetry.
But could James Harden actually reach free agency and plant his free-agent flag on Planet Orange? Sure, some front-office agility might be required, but this blessed matchup wasnt so difficult to fathom, right?
Well, the notion maintained a vigorous talk-radio heartbeat and flourished in the relentless corridors of the blogosphere, reaching a crescendo on April 19 of last year.
One night earlier, the former Arizona State star -- working off the bench -- pinned 40 points on the Suns in a win for the Thunder at US Airways Center. For loyal Suns fans more than happy to nominate candidates to occupy the title of this franchises next star player, Hardens performance was a validation.
He seemed to be as close to the next-chosen-one status as pro basketball in this town might see in a while.
We saw him again Saturday night at USAC, where Harden went 7 for 10 from 3-point range and 11 for 17 overa...