James Harden is perfectly happy being the go-to man in Houston, as made evident by his combined 92 points in his first two games with the team, but he isn’t content with how things ended in Oklahoma City.
The Thunder offered Harden a four-year, $54 million contract before trading him to the Houston Rockets on Oct. 27, and allowed him just one hour to consider the offer.
“After everything we established — everything we had done — you give me an hour?” Harden told Yahoo! Sports on Monday. “This was one of the biggest decisions of my life. I wanted to go home and pray about it. It hurt me. It hurt.”
Houston took some of Harden’s pain away after giving him a five-year, $80 million contract to be the star of the show.
In his three years with the Thunder, Harden developed into an All-Star and a prime-time scoring threat, but Oklahoma City’s roster was too deep for the team to give Harden a maximum contract while restricting him to a sixth-man role.
“I was there with talented guys in Oklahoma City, some All-Star guys, and I would have been in the back seat there — which I was fine with — but I wouldn’t have gotten to show how talented I really am,” said Harden.
The 23-year-old is getting his chance to show off all of his talents as Houston’s No. 1 scoring option, and he is taking full advantage of the extra touches that are coming his way. Through three games, Harden is averaging 35.3 points per game, 6.3 assists per game and is shooting 53 percent from the field. On a roster that boasts only one player with more than three years of NBA experience, Harden is already the face of a franchise that he has been a part of for only 10 days.
Although things didn’t end the way Harden would have liked in Oklahoma City, he is certainly happy with his new beginning in Houston.