Utah Jazz: Getting to know new point guard Devin Harris
10 — Harris values his relationship with his Wisconsin coach, Bo Ryan. "More off the court than on the court," said Harris, whose sophomore team made a Sweet 16 run. "We still talk to this day."
9 — Harris is under contract with the Jazz for about $9 million for the next two seasons. One thing he loves about Utah is that the organization is "expected to win."
8 — His NBA highlights — not counting the first week with Utah, of course — were getting picked up by the surging Mavericks and then making it to the league championship with Dallas in his second season (2006). "Starting in the Finals," he said, "was huge." Unfortunately for Harris, his Mavs lost 4-2 to Miami, which was led by Marquette star and his friend, Dwyane Wade.
7 — It's been less than two weeks, but Harris already feels comfortable in Utah. "The guys have been great." Harris said he picks Raja Bell's brain about all sorts of basketball stuff. He developed chemistry with Al Jefferson at USA Basketball events, and he's starting to build a relationship with Paul Millsap. When it comes to learning his point guard duties, Harris spoke highly of his backups. "Earl (Watson) and Ronnie Price have been the best guys as far as helping me out with the offense." The fond feelings are reciprocated, too.
6 — The speedy Harris' claim to fame: He earned a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records and the first title of being the planet's so-called "fastest man with a basketball" after racing the length of the court (94 feet) in 3.9 seconds at All-Star festivities in 2009, a feat that can be seen at NBA.com.
5 — Harris settled on five as his Jazz jersey number, a decision that has a silver lining. "I'm happy with five," he said. "It's so much easier signing autographs with a single digit. You have no idea."
4 — Harris has a special bond with Denver's coach, who used to live in his neck of the woods. "George Karl ran our AAU program, so I was very tight with him growing up." He added that Karl's successful Bucks teams energized the place. "That was an exciting time for Milwuakee."
3 — Three players this old Bucks fan used to love watch play: Ray Allen, Glenn "Big Dog" Robinson and Sam Cassell. "I looked up to all of those guys." Harris liked watching them practice, too. "Although," he added with a grin, "Sam didn't practice much."
2 — What defines Harris? "I'm competitive, but yet I enjoy the game. I enjoy teammates, being a good teammate. I'm full of life. I can just be competitive, enjoy (playing) and I know it can be taken away at any time."
1 — Similar to John Stockton, you'll likely never see Harris slam the ball. "I can't dunk anymore," the 6-foot-3 guard said. OK, he can, but he chooses not to. "I used to be a big dunker. But as the years go on, I'd rather shoot a layup and use my energy for other things."
Like, say, collecting shoes.
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