Del Harris Rumors
Mark Berman: Former #Rockets coach Del Harris,named winner of 2020 Chuck Daly Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Basketball Coaches Assoc. Del says when introduced to kids: “I get introduced as Kobe’s 1st coach,Magic’s last coach & in the movie Space Jam. That’s all they care about” pic.twitter.com/AbCnHkLctr
Six decades later, Harris is still involved in the NBA. And still getting accolades for a career well-played and well-coached. On Friday afternoon, Harris will be announced as the 2020 winner of the Chuck Daly Lifetime Achievement Award, given by the National Basketball Coaches Association in memory of the hall of fame coach whose outstanding NBA coaching career set a standard for integrity, competitive excellence and tireless promotion of NBA basketball.
“Del is like an encyclopedia of basketball,” said No. 6 all-time NBA scorer and Mavericks’ legend Dirk Nowitzki. “I would always go to Del and see what he has to say because he knows so much. He’s been around forever. “He’s given the game of basketball so much. He’s a pleasure to talk to and I could talk to him for hours. Great guy. Coached a lot of NBA greats. And he’s done a lot for our sport and our league. I’m a huge Del fan and congratulations on getting this award. Well, well done.”
The award recipient is selected annually by a committee comprised of some of the most respected coaches and basketball executives in the game, including Bernie Bickerstaff, Billy Cunningham, Joe Dumars, Phil Jackson, Gregg Popovich, Pat Riley, Donnie Walsh and Lenny Wilkens. The award has been given out since 2009. Tom Heinsohn was the first recipient and others to win the honor include Pat Riley, Lenny Wilkens, Jerry Sloan and Bernie Bickerstaff.
Apart from losing in the NBA finals against the Boston Celtics back in 2008, not playing in his first two, three years was the least favorite part in his illustrious career. Even though the Lakers at that time had solid players on the guard positions, Kobe believes he should have played more minutes. He said the main reason why that didn’t happen was because of the Dell Harris, who was the head coach for the Lakers during those years. “There were a couple of them. Losing to the Celtics in 08 was tough. Before that, at the beginning of the journey, it was not playing. Coming in as a rookie knowing s— is going to be like this, I would go back to school because I felt like my coach Del Harris at the time was trying to make sure he is not favoring the young kids and as a result, he swan in the other direction doing things that weren’t really fair. My first 2,3 years were a nightmare for me.”
During that period, he was actively questioning his decision to come to the NBA and not going to college, thinking he would at least play more minutes in NCAA. “I saw my peers playing 30-35 minutes per game doing their thing, and I am sitting here glued to the bench. I was getting really pissed off and ticketed off, thinking I should have just go to college. That was the hardest part.”
It wasn’t your first year in Milwaukee and it wasn’t Del Harris’ first year as coach, so what made you two decide it was time for you to start shooting threes in 1988? Jack Sikma: It really had to do with my skill set and the roster makeup. I think there were some matchups from some of the other positional players where we felt they had advantages in the post and they were good post players. I’m talking about Terry Cummings. A lot of times we’d put him in the post to get his matchup. Ricky Pierce, Paul Pressey. By then, Sidney (Moncrief) was gone, but we had a number of guys that from a matchup standpoint, Del felt we could use that in the post.