In physics there is a theory that our universe is not the only one in existence. The "multiverse" idea says that there are an infinite number of parallel universes in existence with each one being slightly different from the rest.
People never existing, decisions never made, players never traded. I like the multiverse theory because then it means that in at least one parallel universe James Harden is still ballin with the Oklahoma City Thunder.
The bearded one was traded to the Houston Rocket in the 2012 offseason. Reports said that Harden wanted a max contract extension and the Thunder weren't willing to abide. They had just given a large extension to their shot-blocking sensation Serge Ibaka and couldn't justify giving Harden the max with their money concious owner Clay Bennett. James Harden immediately made the Thunder pay.
Uping his averages from 16.8 points per game to 25.9, he earned his first All-Star appearance, his first All-NBA selection and lead Houston to the playoffs.
Meanwhile the main piece acquired by the Thunder, Kevin Martin, couldn't live up to Harden's Sixth Man of the Year standard and left OKC after one season.
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What could have been
Look at the NBA now a full two and half seasons on. Kevin Durant is the reigning MVP, Russell Westbrook is just destroying every team in his wake with Durant injured, and James Harden is leading the league in scoring and has an extremely strong MVP case this season. Just imagine if he had never been traded.
The Thunder reached the Finals in 2012 only to lose to the Miami Heat, but the average age of the Thunder's 'Big Three' was only 23. Now that all three players are just coming into their prime who knows what they could've accomplished?
James Harden is averaging a career high seven assists a game, he is the primary ball handler for the Rockets due to his excellent court-vision and ball-handling. During his days in OKC, he would lead the bench and be the main facillitator with Russell Westbrook off the floor.
If he had remained in OKC, Harden and Westbrook would easily be the best back court in the NBA and would cause nightmares for opposing defences. Add the best scorer in the world Kevin Durant into the mix and you have a dynasty that could've last 8-10 years.
Now OKC is struggling to make the playoffs in a vicious Western Conference and the Rockets are third. Durant, Westbrook and Harden are all easily good enough to have their own team, but put them together now and you would have something special. Would've, should've, could've Sam Presti.