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Kendrick Perkins Accused LeBron James And Dwyane Wade Of Trying To Break The OKC Big 3 By Pushing James Harden To Find His Own Team: "They Were Trying To Break The Oklahoma City Thunder Up So They Could Win More Titles.”

Kendrick Perkins Accused LeBron James And Dwyane Wade Of Trying To Break The OKC Big 3 By Pushing James Harden To Find His Own Team: "They Were Trying To Break The Oklahoma City Thunder Up So They Could Win More Titles.”

The 2012 Oklahoma City Thunder squad with Russell Westbrook, James Harden, and Kevin Durant made it all the way to the NBA Finals even when people didn't believe them to do so. However, they were beaten by the LeBron James-led Miami Heat, who won their first title of the Big 3 era with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.

Harden would leave the Thunder soon after that loss because the Thunder asked him to take less than a max contract and be the team's sixth man. Harden, unwilling to sacrifice on two fronts, was traded to the Houston Rockets 

Kendrick Perkins shed some light on the situation around Harden's departure, revealing that he thought Harden was selfish for leaving the team when they were on the path to an NBA Championship. An even bigger revelation was that LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Carmelo Anthony may have encouraged Harden to make that move.  

(2:21) "What happened was that Sam Presti gave him till 12 o clock. I remember it was a Wednesday, and he was like 'you have till 12 to sign this'. (OKC offered) $64 million, and James was like 'I want the max'. What happened was, when James, KD, and Russ went to the Olympics and won that Gold Medal, everybody like LeBron, D-Wade, Carmelo, was gassing up James 'you need your own team'. They weren't gassing him, they were right, he did need his own team. But at the same time, they're trying to break the Oklahoma City Thunder up so they could win more titles."

Harden leaving the Thunder is still talked about as one of the biggest what-ifs in NBA history. They peaked early in 2012 when they made the Finals and weren't a match for the Miami Heat that year. Harden leaving ensured that the Thunder wouldn't get back to the Finals again, even with MVP players like Durant and Westbrook sticking around.

One hole in KP's story is that Wade didn't play in the 2012 Olympics due to a knee injury, so when Wade got into Harden's ear is unclear. The sentiment of pushing Harden to be his own man seems sound considering they were going to benefit from the same.