James Harden and Kevin Durant reunited last season after almost 10 years since they last played together. In their first run together, they only played for 3 years but were able to take the Oklahoma City Thunder to the 2012 NBA Finals, while both players were incredibly early into their careers.
Kevin Durant recently spoke to The Athletic about James Harden's first go-around in Oklahoma City, and what he thinks Harden was able to learn in that run. KD thinks that Harden learned how to contribute to winning basketball. Being around Durant and Russell Westbrook, rather than a losing team, allowed Harden to experience winning early in his career.
“(It) taught him about the business of basketball, talking about what winning meant. We went to the Finals, and we were expected to win every game. So that is a blessing to have that coming into the league. A lot of high picks like him go to losing teams and build a losing mentality. So, he learned what it takes to win, and he used that to catapult him into being a superstar.”
Harden was the third overall pick in the 2009 NBA Draft. He joined Durant and Westbrook, to form a young and exciting core that would all go on to win the NBA's MVP trophy over the next few years. The trio came very close to winning the NBA championship in 2012, but they were stopped by LeBron James and the Miami Heat in 5 games.
Harden and KD will have another chance to win an NBA championship, now that they are on the Nets. As more mature superstars now, they will be joined by Kyrie Irving, who made his return this week against the Pacers, as the prolific big three hope to lead the Nets to their first NBA championship.