Stephen Jackson says Thunder should have kept James Harden in 2012 instead of the ‘wrong people’
Former NBA player Stephen Jackson believes that the questionable moves by the Oklahoma City Thunder in the past is starting to haunt them big time.
The Thunder suddenly found themselves in rebuilding mode after they were somehow forced to trade Russell Westbrook and Paul George. Jackson told Erik Horne of The Oklahoman that what happened to OKC this summer was a result of their decision to keep the “wrong people” in the past.
Jackson said that the Thunder should have kept James Harden in Oklahoma back. However, OKC opted to trade Harden to the Houston Rockets in 2012 after deciding not to give a contract extension to The Beard.
“I think they did a bad job of catering to Serge Ibaka — and I love Serge Ibaka — and Nick Collison when they could have kept James around that time,” Jackson said. “They were concerned with keeping the wrong people. Now it’s coming to bite them in the butt.”
Jackson said that the Thunder had the perfect opportunity to keep their core of Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and James Harden. Four years after losing Harden, Durant also walked away to get a better chance of winning his first NBA championship, which he achieved with the Golden State Warriors in 2017.
This summer, the Thunder also lost Westbrook. The former NBA Most Valuable Player asked OKC to trade him to the Houston Rockets after they were forced to part ways with George, who requested for a trade to the Los Angeles Clippers to team up with Kawhi Leonard.