Unappreciated: Tobias Harris
June 13, 2019.
News just broke that Tobias Harris agreed to sign with the Philadelphia 76ers on a 5-year $180 million. Below are a few quotes from Tobias speaking with the media after the deal was made public:
“We’ve got unfinished business, and I’m ready to commit to a long-term vision of bringing a title to Philadelphia. From the moment I arrived in Philadelphia, the city has embraced me. This is an incredible sports town, and it’s hungry for an NBA title. So are the Sixers — and so am I.”
“You can’t allow money to affect your happiness because that is never going to bring you joy. I have such an incredible support system, including my father, who also happens to be my agent.”
“I want to be somewhere that I can call home. Finally, I can do that now: I’m a Philadelphia 76er.”
Philadelphia was coming to the realization that Jimmy Butler didn’t want to sign a max contract here – assuming the 76ers even gave him that option, which is also up for discussion but that’s not even the point. We’re past that and Jimmy has retired in Florida.
Last year – Tobias was our guy. Harris averaged 20 points, 7.9 rebounds, and 2.0 assists last season after coming to Philly at the trade deadline and 15 points, 9.0 rebounds, and 4.0 assists in the playoffs. A solid contributor on a team that desperately needed it.
Fast forward to this season..
Harris is averaging 19 points, 7.0 rebounds, and 2.0 assists.
So why does everyone hate Tobias Harris this year? From the second he signed his new contract, he said it was never about the money, he wanted to be here, he loved our fans, and he was motivated to bring a championship to the city. What the hell is everyone’s problem?
Look, I get it – everyone goes crazy over a max contract and wants the player who’s getting paid the most money to come out and be a flashy all-star with big numbers night in, and night out. Could Tobias Harris be better? Yes. Has he had some games where we all wanted to kill him? Absolutely. But every player goes through that at some point in the season.
Tobias Harris is the grinder of the Sixers. He consistently puts up numbers, although not flashy, almost every single game. He’s the quiet consistency we have behind all of the unwarranted drama in the media behind Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid.
In Joel’s 49 point demolition game against the Hawks – Tobias Harris dropped 26 points 6 rebounds and 4 assists. You won’t hear about it anywhere. WIP (enemy of the people) ran with the story that “Joel Embiid can’t do it alone” and jumped back on the “Are The Sixers Better without Ben Simmons” bullshit they always say when one of our two all-stars are hurt.
Tobias dropped 25 points shooting 3-7 from beyond the arch – a quiet effort behind Shake Milton, who rightfully stole the show.
I’m not sure where the hate started – it has to be about the money. So let’s talk about money. If we didn’t give Tobias the max – who would have gotten it? Jimmy didn’t want to be here. He wanted all the attention on him and there was no way it was going to happen on a team with Joel and Ben.
Tobias was going to get the max money elsewhere. And he deserves to. That’s just the nature of the NBA and the business side of things. He’s never going to be the star max contract player everyone wants him to be but he most certainly will be the guy who puts up 20 points a game, with decent rebounds and assist numbers to go with it. He’s a rock of consistency on a team that desperately needs one.
He wants to be in Philly. He wants to win. He’s going to grind it out on the court every night. Some nights will be better than others – no doubt. But I can’t continue to log on to Twitter or listen to the waste on local sports media and see people just bash this dude.
Here’s the real story:
Tobias Harris who select few think has a bad contract :
has played 61 of 61 total games this season.
Scoring 19.2 Points per game as the 3rd option many nights
47.5% from the field
36.5% from 3 on 5 attempts a game pic.twitter.com/Hxcmc3AqEz
— Steven Conrad Jr. (@StevenConradJr) March 2, 2020
The NBA season was suspended due to COVID-19. Tobias Harris stepped up yet again and ensured the team stayed together and built chemistry off the court. He organized zoom meetings with the entire team to build a bond and grow closer while they were never apart.
“I think it’s just always important to make sure our guys mentally are in the right space. So just being a teammate, a brother — and we’re around each other for so long — so when we go into quarantine with the pandemic we had, I thought it was really important to keep us in the loop with one another, what we’re doing,” Harris told reporters from Orlando on Saturday. “I also looked at it like, if we’re being honest, we didn’t have the best chemistry through the year with everything going on. So just to use the time to kind of build on that chemistry and help us grow a little bit together through the whole pandemic.”
Protests filled the streets fighting for civil rights. Philadelphia needed a leader. Tobias Harris was there marching with Philadelphia citizens demanding equality.
— Philadelphia 76ers (@sixers) June 7, 2020
Tobias and the Sixers are in the bubble and ready to make a run at the NBA Championship. Remaining the consistent force he has been for the Sixers all year long will be key in taking home the Larry O’Brien trophy.