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Romantics are mad at Presti, unjustifiably. They also could have ire toward Harden, which is just as boneheaded.

Harden had said he might accept less money to remain with OKC, sort of like Thunder forward Serge Ibaka, who signed an extension over the summer. Ibaka probably would’ve received larger offers as a free agent, but he accepted less than market value to stay put.

Good for him. If you’re happy with what you’re doing, where you’re doing it, who you’re doing it with, and what you’re being paid, that’s a simple choice.

But don’t demonize players who opt to go elsewhere for larger paychecks. Harden wasn’t obliged to accept less money than Houston is about to pay. He didn’t owe the Thunder or fans anything more than the effort he exerted during four seasons in an OKC uniform.

Yahoo Sports reported that he turned down a four-year contract worth about $52 million.

The Rockets intend to sign him to a five-year deal worth nearly $80 million.

Suggesting that Harden should’ve left money on the table to maintain OKC’s utopia is much easier than it’d be for you to walk away from $28 million. Likewise, it’s painless to suggest the team should’ve offered a max deal, as long as you don’t have to pay exorbitant luxury tax.

The clock has struck midnight and the bubble has burst in Oklahoma City.

Welcome to the real world.