By Ben Golliver
Team is one ... at least until the owners decides that $60 million is too rich for their blood.
The Oklahoma City Thunder traded guard James Harden to the Houston Rockets on Saturday night after contract extension negotiations hit a standstill. By Sunday, this Thunder billboard was already being scrubbed of Harden's image.
Carla N. Wade of OKC television station KOCO snapped this photo of Harden's image being removed from a Thunder billboard that had featured him alongside All-Star point guard Russell Westbrook. The Thunder's "Team is one" slogan is particularly ironic when juxtaposed with Harden's decapitated image.
Wade added: "Say goodbye to The Beard!"
During a Sunday press conference, Thunder GM Sam Presti said he informed Harden on Saturday that a trade would be coming if he did not accept Oklahoma City's final offer.
“If this was not acceptable we were going to have to move and make the best decision for the franchise,” Presti said he told Harden. “Given the fact that it was becoming a reality that he would more than likely be signing elsewhere at the end of the season. Once that reality was met, as we have in the past, this organization turned the page.”
Turned the page, and the billboards too.
“It’s definitely different, but it’s something that we have to learn to deal with,” Harden said of leaving the Thunder, the only professional team he has played for, to join the rebuilding Rockets. “This is a business and everything happens for a reason. I’m just going to try to play hard and win games.”