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Kevin Durant Breaks His Silence On The Thunder Trading James Harden In 2012: "I Didn't Really Know How To Deal With It..."

Kevin Durant Breaks His Silence On The Thunder Trading James Harden In 2012: "I Didn't Really Know How To Deal With It..."

After pushing the Miami Heat to 5 games in the 2012 NBA Finals, everything changed for the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Just a few months later, OKC would make a ground-breaking move by trading one of their scorers, James Harden, to the Houston Rockets for Kevin Martin, Jeremy Lamb, and two first-round draft picks.

Considering who Harden would later become in Houston, it has long been viewed as a major mistake by the Thunder.

But in a chat with JJ Redick on "The Old Man & The Three," Kevin Durant didn't bash his former team for the move. Instead, he explained just how little influence he had in those affairs back then.

"At that point, like, I wasn't really into the business side of it. I wasn't really locked in with the front office to like, yo, let's have a conversation about our team going forward. The talks hit me out of nowhere. So, like, I didn't really know how to deal with it at that point. So it was just like 'I'm just focused on doing my job. Whoever come in here to play, it's cool.' We had a good run, we still had good players, if it works for both sides let's just do it. Cause James came off the bench for us and then you see how he plays as a starter it was just like 'hold up. Was that a good move?' 4 to 5 years later, it's like even that first game, he had like 37, winning games. So in the moment, it was like alright let's just move on, we'll focus on who we have here."

According to Durant, his mentality changed as his career moved along. Today, he makes sure to voice his stance on potential moves to the front office. Back then, however, a relationship with the Thunder (and GM Sam Presti, specifically) didn't exist on that level.

"I didn't feel like I had that relationship with our GM to just walk in and have conversations like that. I just had to be down with anything that they did. I didn't get the calls on 'this is who we looking at in free agency' it was just like, whoever they sign is who we sign and we gonna play with."

Even after Harden's departure that summer, the Thunder had plenty of talent. Durant, Westbrook, Serge Ibaka, and many others formed a team that made a lot of noise in the West. Sadly, they never did make a return trip to the Finals.

Looking back, it's crazy to think of what could've been had Sam Presti made a different choice that offseason.