Del Harris Rumors
“Kobe didn’t care about night life or anything else,” said Del Harris, who coached Bryant for his first two N.B.A. seasons and the start of his third. “He only had one interest. His only focus was to be the best that he could be. And in his mind that meant challenging Michael Jordan. “People can argue how close he actually came, but there’s no question that he fulfilled pretty much all of his dreams,” Harris added.
Former Rockets coach Del Harris, the Rockets 50th anniversary honoree for Saturday’s game against the Memphis Grizzlies, was thrilled with the honor and especially happy to share it with two of his four children and four of his 15 grandchildren. But he could not help but think of the star of his 1981 NBA Finals team who passed last year. “That’s the biggest disappointment, that Moses (Malone) won’t be here,” Harris said. “We remained close the rest of his life. People may or may not remember, but I signed him up for the Milwaukee Bucks at the end of his career. We stayed in contact. In fact, I talked with him on the Thursday and Friday of the weekend that he died at the Hall of Fame. I’ll miss him.”
Del Harris, Mavericks assistant coach: [Partying] was not happening. That was absolutely not happening. Some writers have said that, but our team was not that sort of team. … Jerry Stackhouse rented a yacht to be moored there in Miami so his mother and family and friends would have a place to stay there. Now, his mother is a pastor. Jerry’s mom was not a party animal, and neither was Jerry.
Del Harris, a longtime NBA coach, explained. Cauley-Stein and his agent were aware that NBA types wondered about the ex-Cat’s devotion to basketball. So, an interest in art was a bad thing. To prove his love of basketball, he turned his back on art. Or as Cauley-Stein told reporters at the Combine, “My life revolves around the ball.” This story made Harris chuckle. “Let’s face it,” he said. “The good agents are going to prep the good players just as a lawyer — and many of the agents are in fact lawyers — would prep a witness in a trial. “Because this is a form of a trial. You’re put on the witness stand.”
So much so that Kobe Bryant initially outscored the entire Dallas Mavericks team. So much so that Bryant scored 62 points through three quarters, giving the Lakers enough cushion that he felt no need to play in the final period. So much so that Bryant became the sixth player in Lakers history to score at least 60 points in a regular-season game. And with the Lakers (9-37) facing the Dallas Mavericks (25-20) for the final time on Tuesday at Staples Center, Bryant narrowed in on one specific source that fueled his outburst. “Del Harris,” Bryant said, sparking laughter both from himself and reporters.
Harris worked as a Mavericks assistant from 2000 to 2007. But before that, Harris coached the Lakers from 1994-1999 through Bryant’s first two NBA seasons. The Lakers then fired Harris after a 6-6 start in the 1999 lockout-shortened season. Bryant became frustrated playing for Harris, who featured him off the bench in 15.5 minutes per game his rookie season. “When I was a rookie, I hated Del,” Bryant said. “I always said if I get a chance to get revenge, I’m going to get it.”