Utah Jazz: Getting to know new point guard Devin Harris

Published: Sunday, March 6 2011 8:00 p.m. MST

Including his brother, which eventually started happening. Until, that is, Bruce stopped playing him.

"He wants no part of me right now," said Harris, who also has a non-athletic younger sister. "He stopped playing a long time ago."

31 — Harris' Favorite sport growing up? "Baseball was my first love." He was both a pitcher — "That's what I thought I was going to do," he said — and a hard-core Milwaukee Brewers' fan. (He'll even tell you that the Brew Crew has only made it to the playoffs once in his lifetime — in 2008 when C.C. Sabathia shut down every one from the mound — and that he's excited about "big moves" Milwaukee made this past offseason. Of course, he also admits to attending Cubs games growing up so he could root for a winning team, that's how desperate he was.)

He also excelled at volleyball the one year he played it in high school.

30 — Harris' dad believed in his NBA abilities from an early age, even sharing that dream when they'd attend Milwaukee Bucks games together. Not Harris, though. He was clumsy, lacking balance, and used to injure himself while running into various things as a youngster.

"I was a late bloomer. ... I didn't believe. I thought it was loony," Harris said. "I thought every dad wants his kid to be that guy, but he definitely kept it going."

Harris caught the vision at Wisconsin after he said his balance, athleticism and speed "all kind of came into one" during high school.

29 — D-Will and Harris are now friends — the new Jazz guy even used to golf in Williams' annual charity tournament — but the two Big Ten point guards from Wisconsin and Illinois were bitter rivals back in the day.

Harris laughs about that now.

"I really didn't like him then. I don't think he liked me. His mom pretty much told me she didn't like me in college," Harris said, amused with the memory. "It was just the brutal battles, and then once we made it into the league we just sort of hit it off then."

Harris smiled and admitted the subject of renting Williams' Utah home has even been broached.

28 — That's how old Harris turned on Feb. 27, which happened to be the first day he arrived in Utah after being a key piece in the D-Will deal. It also happened to be the day when a fan stopped his vehicle in the middle of the road at a Salt Lake City mall, hopped out and hustled to meet the new Jazz player. "I was a little freaked out," Harris said. "But it was a good freaked out."

27 — Harris left Wisconsin after his junior season (2003-04) — when he was a second-team All-American and the Big Ten player of the year. The Badger said he's "slowly but surely" working on finishing his bachelor's degree.

26 — Harris' admitted weakness off the court? "Shoes." But not just any shoes — Adidas shoes (his sponsor and a brand he's worn since he was 12). Over the years, Harris has collected 475 pair. They're not in some fancy shoe shrine, though. They're all boxed up in the garage — call it his foot locker — of his Dallas home.

"It's just one of those things," he said, trying to explain his footwear fixation. "I think every NBA player has a weakness, whether it be jewelry or clothes. Mine are shoes."

His collection's pieces de resistance include vintage 1980 shoes with an alarm clock built inside and a pair of diamond-encrusted Superstars.

Harris' treasure trove does not include shoes he sports during games (usually for about three nights per pair). He donates his playing shoes to charitable causes.

25 — Harris fondly calls ex-Dallas standout Michael Finley, whose Wisconsin single-season scoring record he broke, "my first veteran."

24 — Of course, Harris also blames Finley for helping him pick up "bad habits" such as an affinity for "very unique" timepieces and cars.

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