LA Clippers’ Sixth Man of the Year contender Montrezl Harrell finally returned to action on Monday. He had missed every Bubble game so far, since he left when his grandmother passed away. But braving all those emotions, he stepped on the court against the Mavericks and contributed to the Clippers win.
He later spoke about his grandmother and how much she meant to him. “She was my entire world,” Harrell said. “My grandmother was the one who introduced me to the game of basketball, was my dad’s mother. One of my biggest supporters, biggest fans, one of my best friends. The only way to put it. There’s no other way to explain the things she has done for me.”
It has been over a month, but his grandmother’s impact on his life was so immense that Harrell is still affected.
“Still wears on me to this day,” Harrell said. “I’m still dealing with the process. … It’s just different having somebody here who just means everything in the world to you, and you [were] constantly in communication with them every other day. They always constantly checked on you, watched your games. The very first time you pick up a basketball, that factor isn’t there anymore, so it’s tough.”
Clippers’ head coach Doc Rivers talked about how the team was doing their bit to help Harrell.
“He has gone through a lot of emotional stuff,” Rivers said. “I think it was good for our guys to be able to grab him and hug him and touch him. Good for him to see us. I thought it was a good medicine.”
Harrell played 15 minutes against the Mavericks for the first time in the Bubble. His energy and aggression on the court is something they missed. He was also their best scorer off the bench, averaging 18.6 points per game. Rivers will be hoping Harrell will be fit to play significant minutes tomorrow.
The Clippers will hope to continue their winning run and win Game 2 against the Mavericks. They are favorites for a reason and will hope to live up to that tag.
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