Oklahoma City News, Entertainment & Occasional Humor • Established 2007

Oglebating: To Boo or Not to Boo James Harden

Well, this is awkward.

Nearly one month after being dealt to the Oklahoma City Thunder, Kevin Martin will face his former team, the Houston Rockets, tonight at Chesapeake Arena.

Okay, so that’s not the storyline at all. You know what it is. James Harden is making his highly anticipated return to Oklahoma City. Obviously, there’s a lot of discussion surrounding this event. People want to know how the Oklahoma City will fans treat the beardgrower. Will they cheer and applaud, or boo and hiss?

Marisa and I tackle the issue in a special edition of “Oglebating: To Boo or Not to Boo James Harden.” Check out our positions and vote for how you feel after the jump.

Patrick: Boo

I think this is a simple decision. Boo tonight and boo unmercifully. Here are three reasons why:

He’s a greedy multi-millionaire who abandoned Oklahoma City. Remember, the Thunder offered Harden a four-year $53-million offer ($13.5-million per year). Sure, he got a longer deal and couple more million per season with the Rockets, but he lied to everyone about wanting to stay in OKC and forced the Thunder to trade him. Who cares about his silky smooth play, the gigantic three against the Spurs, and all the other fond memories he left us with. He’s a greedy, selfish professional athlete who burned the city that reared him so he could lease a slightly bigger yacht. 

Oh yeah, he broke up a potential dynasty. Sure, as long as the Thunder have a healthy Kevin Durant they’re always going to be on the verge of a potential dynasty, but with a lineup of KD, Westbrook, Harden and Ibaka, Berry’s Boomers were all but guaranteed repeat visits to the NBA Finals.

We’re going to miss out on a half-dozen Jenni Carlson columns criticizing his character. Oh well, maybe she’ll make up for it by writing a weekly column praising Johnny Suckball (Landry Jones).

Marisa: Not to Boo

So, James Harden is coming back to Oklahoma City after tearing our hearts out like a Mortal Kombat fatality just one month ago. We all feel hurt and still cry ourselves to sleep sometimes. Perk’s new goatee isn’t enough to sate our beard lusts and the rest of the Thunder isn’t old enough to have even started shaving yet. But, please, readers, I implore you, do not boo the beard. Sure, he left us, but we’re better than that. Need I remind you of the parable of the Prodigal Son? I sure hope not, because I’m not a Christian and I only really know the name of the parable, not the story, but I’m sure it applies here.

Let’s be good sports tonight. Think about all the times the Clippers come to Oklahoma City and how we cheer like crazy for Blake Griffin. He left Oklahoma too, though perhaps on better and much different terms than did our Beard. Either way, Harden was a great member of the team and brought honor and pride to our great city. Let us not begrudge him a heartfelt welcome simply because we’re bitter. Think of all the good that has come out of that trade! We now have K-Mart who’s pretty good at basketball, and Jeremy Lamb, who doesn’t get that much playing time because most of the games take place after his bedtime. Regardless, no booing. Mr. Harden is now a Houston resident, and living in that Hell hole is punishment enough.

Anyway, screw what we think. How do you feel about this?

Vote below and/or leave a comment:

Should Oklahoma City fans Boo or Not Boo James Harden?

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  1. He is a 23 year old kid who was given 1 hour to make the biggest decision of his life concerning millions of dollars. He gave us solid years here in OKC.

    Stay classy OKC, please don’t boo him.

    • oy. please stop with the “he was given one hour to decide” BS. that is blown so out of proportion AND out of context. wont be booing Harden tonight but lets not fall pray to his “i was only given an hour, i wanted to pray about it before I drop a load at a houston strip club” song and dance.

    • Disagree with this. Did you not read Patrick’s take above?

      He publicly said he wanted to stay loved OKC. Negotiations had been ongoing for months. It’s not like the final offer was something out of left field.

      He’s a professional athlete coming to OKC to try and beat the Thunder. Boo him from the moment the Rockets plane lands in OKC until the moment their plane takes off. Hopefully they get a flight attendant from OKC who boo’s him before they cross the state line.

    • He wasn’t given an hour to make the most important decision of his life. He had all Summer to make the decision. He was given an hour to reveal his decision.

      Harden asking for three days to “pray about it” was entirely self serving. That was simply to waylay any possible trades (no one would have offered as much as Houston did without the possibility of getting him extended) and forcing OKC’s hand to give him the max money he coveted.

      That said, I wouldn’t boo. I appreciate what he did when he was here, and I think the trade will ultimately be for the best of all parties involved.

  2. Come on… anyone that boos this guy is a buffoon. Presti talked about how Harden’s unwillingness to sacrifice made them make this deal, but look at the roster, who else made a sacrifice? Perkins got paid big time, Westbrook got the 5 year max, Durant got the 5 year max, Ibaka got a pretty sizable deal as well (the max for him was speculative at best). Collison’s deal is nice now, but he got huge money at the front end of it.

    Presti gave Harden an hour to decide whether he’d sign the extension or get traded out of town. That to a guy who had done so much for the team. If you’re looking for a bad guy in this, Harden is not who you should be blaming.

    • Ibaka definitely took less than he could have made. Cuban is sitting on cap space to drag in at least one max guy and would have fronted Serge a max if only, worst case scenario, to force OKC to match it.

      • And the other guys? Maybe Ibaka took a few million less, but acting as if this was some kind of culture of sacrifice like Presti tried to make it seem is simply bogus.

        • Wrong Patrick. Westbrook took Max but waived the Rose Rule 5% which saved us $3M/yr. Durant can’t give anything back because you can’t renegotiate a max deal plus he was grandfathered into the Rose Rule without an option. Perkins and Durant both waived their 4th yr option which was good for the team (hypothetically since Perkins is now worthless). Ibaka could have got the max from someone. Collison’s deal was neither good or bad, it was just front loaded to help with the cap space.

  3. Boo him like he’s Ron World Peace. He’s a Rocket that’s coming to try to whip the Thunder’s butt…boo him. He made a business decision, I have no problem with that. He’s the enemy now though…boo him.

  4. I lost it after “Johnny Suckball” and “tearing our hearts out like a Mortal Kombat fatality”…nicely done.

  5. We have nothing to be mad or hostile about. Harden is just a slightly more talented, less consistent and hairier version of Martin. The trade was apples for apples and the Thunder got the better end of it. Martin fits in better, just wants to win and doesn’t mind coming off the bench. Harden wants to the “the man” more than he wants to be in the playoffs and now he has more time to go on his “white out Jay-Z” cruises while the Thunder are playing in the post season. It was a win/win – everyone should be happy and give him a warm welcome back.

  6. If you want to boo anyone tonight, make it Kelvin. He’s a repeat offender rules violator and an all around asshole.

  7. Not Boo – While James Harden was with the Thunder, he gave us all a lot of entertainment. Cheering him just reminds him what he will be missing…

  8. Although he tore the dynasty apart, i think that we are better than that boo business. we (Oklahomans) are good sports, and still on the verge of being the best team in in the NBA.

  9. I vote boo, only because that’s what you do to the best player on an opposing team, isn’t it? And I’m pretty sure they booed Blake Griffin in his first visit to OKC. Unless their jersey says Thunder, boo them. Boo them all.

  10. I didn’t boo Blake Griffin until his first ridiculous flop. Likewise Chris Paul. I boo them both routinely now. Same deal for Harden–no flops, no boos.

  11. I don’t feel sorry for any athlete when they’re making millions of dollars.
    Hell, I would hold a clipboard for the NFL minimum and never bitch about it.
    I understand you have to make your money while you can and you might as well make as much as you can, but still, these guys are making MILLIONS upon MILLIONS. How much does one need after the first, say, $10-million?

  12. He got boos after his altercation with Thabeet. He wanted to get max money which is his right as an American. He wanted money over championships. Have fun Harden and good riddance! he was 3-16 and pretty sure he got rejected at least 4 times last night.

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