Thank You, Gary Harris: A Tribute From a Denver Nuggets Fan
As a long-time fan of the Denver Nuggets, I still remember the day we traded for Gary Harris like it was yesterday. We had just drafted Doug McDermott and I remember seeing the Michigan State highlights. I was already impressed and knew the potential was there. You may have not gotten much time in your rookie season, but you were destined to give this franchise hope. Hope which you soon started to deliver to a rebuilding organization.
Thank You, Gary Harris
Gary’s First Years
I remember thinking Harris maybe being on the cusp of becoming the Nuggets’ version of a Klay Thompson. An elite perimeter defender who can also cut to the basket and splash the three-point shot. After a rookie season that saw you only getting 13.1 minutes per game, you soon started making your mark as one of the important pieces of Denver’s young core.
I remember idolizing your underrated defense and realizing how good you were by holding the likes of Damian Lillard, Stephen Curry, and Russell Westbrook to less than 10 points in the 2017-18 season! A season that also saw you knockdown 39.6 percent of your three-point shots. Of course, who can forget the infamous buzzer beater you hit against the Oklahoma City Thunder? The injuries may have started to catch up, but I along with much of Nuggets Nation still believed in you.
Gary’s Final Years in the Mile High
As trade speculation started surrounding your name, I remember being one of the few to defend your value. With guys such as Nikola Jokic, Jamal Murray, and Michael Porter, there was not as great of a need for a big offensive output. What did not go unnoticed was the continued defensive grit you provided night in and night out.
Despite nagging injuries, you continued to give your blood, sweat, and tears to this team and fanbase. Even though you may not see this article, I just hope you know that you will forever hold a soft spot in this Denver Nuggets fan’s heart. When things looked bleak during the rebuild, you gave me hope for the future. When I felt like I was suffering from the real world, you gave me a nice distraction.
Even though some like to highlight your injury history and offensive struggles in your last years as a Nugget, know that some of us still thought of you as our favorite. We will never forget your integral role in the three to one series comeback against the Utah Jazz. The series where you silenced a hot Jordan Clarkson and stripped the ball from Donovan Mitchell in the final sequence of game seven. Some NBA fans don’t understand it, but there is more to the game than just scoring.
Farewell and Good Luck Gary Harris
I say this from the bottom of my heart, I hope you find success in Orlando and wherever life takes you next. I will forever be grateful for what you brought to Denver. Just know that there is a thriving fanbase of yours who is heartbroken as I am writing this, yet still hope you find success. Even though I am a die-hard Nuggets fan, I will still be rooting for you from the sidelines. For all we know, maybe your path and the Nuggets’ path will cross again someday. With all of this in mind, I just want to say thank you, Gary Harris, for all the years you provided Mile High basketball.
Main Photo: Embed from Getty Images