Nick Collison talks about the James Harden trade in 2018 farewell article

·2 min read

In his farewell ESPN article from 2018 when he was on the verge of retirement, Oklahoma City Thunder player — and now front office member — Nick Collison spoke in detail on how he reacted to the 2012 James Harden trade.

With contract extension negotiations at a halt, the Thunder made the daring move to trade Harden to the Houston Rockets after the former sixth-man-of-the-year award winner played a pivotal role in the team’s NBA Finals run the previous June.

Collison described the shocking trade as a “gut punch” and will make for great content in the inevitable ESPN documentary.

“‘I still remember going to see James (Harden) at his house the night he was traded. It was a gut punch,’ Collison said. ‘We just sat there together in shock; we couldn’t believe it happened. We talked about how it went down, about negotiations and stuff, but we just couldn’t believe it. I mean, we’d just gone to the Finals.’

‘There have been a few other gut punches, but I won’t dwell on them here,’ he added. ‘The eventual 30 for 30 will be really good. It’ll probably have to be a four-part mini-series.'”

While the trade is a decade old now, the scars are still seen throughout the franchise — especially for those who were with the Thunder at the time like Collison.

The Thunder failed to make the NBA Finals again, and many point to the Harden trade as arguably the biggest reason for this failure.

Alas, the Thunder have turned a page in their history books. They are in the midst of a rebuild with a core of Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Chet Holmgren and Lu Dort. Only a few players from that 2012 Finals team are still in the league. But until proven otherwise, the Thunder will forever be known as the team that drafted three consecutive MVPs and did not win a title.

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Story originally appeared on Thunder Wire