Having advanced to the Western Conference Finals and NBA Finals during their three years together, they were one of the most promising young trios in basketball. Now that they've each emerged as dominant MVP contenders (and winners) in their own right, many are wondering what could have been if they had continued playing together after the 2012 season.
Though Westbrook seems content with the way things played out—Harden was traded to the Houston Rockets and Durant signed with the Golden State Warriors—he expressed fond memories of their time together in an interview on Tuesday.
"It’s a blessing," Westbrook said, looking back on their years as teammates. "It’s something that doesn’t happen that often. It’s a blessing to be able to play with those guys. But at the same time, know and understand each individual journey and what it took for them to get to the level they’re at now."
Asked if the trio had any idea of what they were all capable of when they were teammates, Westbrook shook his head and repeatedly answered, "No."
Westbrook's sentiments were echoed by Kevin Durant's during an interview with The Mercury News in early 2017.
When a reporter asked if he thought that they would go on to rule the NBA for the next decade, Durant responded, "No. We never looked at it that way, like we could be best of all-time. It was really AAU basketball, man. We were just having fun. We weren’t listening to anyone on the outside, media, none of that. It was just pure fun. When we did hear something about the group, it was like, what is this? That was so foreign to us because we never paid attention to it."
Neither Durant nor Westbrook appear to be spending much time wondering what could have been. Instead, they're appreciative of their dominant run together.
"It’s easy to say we were supposed to be together for the rest of our careers, but it didn’t play out like that," Durant explained. "I think all three of us will have memorable careers. And it’ll be a journey we’ll always remember, something that’s different and unique, playing with two different guys who are doing incredible things in the league right now. But when you look back, think about the fun times instead of what could’ve been."