Jennifer Stewart-USA TODAY Sports

Tobias Harris can be special with Sixers

Dave Uram
February 08, 2019 - 7:37 am

Some chose to not put that much stock into what’s said at a press conference as the bottom line of sports is what happens in games. But, that doesn’t mean Tobias Harris didn’t get his Sixers tenure off to a good start.

The borderline All-Star said all the right things at his introductory press conference Thursday night in Camden.

Biggest Takeaway: Building Chemistry Won’t Happen Overnight 

One of the most unique aspects of this Sixers season is significant roster turnover that’s happened since October. Markelle Fultz, Robert Covington, Dario Saric, Landry Shamet, Wilson Chandler and Mike Muscala are gone. Jimmy Butler, Harris, Boban Marjanovic, Mike Scott, Jonathon Simmons and James Ennis are here. Chemistry, especially with the starting five, will take time.

"It’s going to come down to, number one, guys figuring out each other on the floor and on the fly,” Harris said. “…It’s going to be a challenge also. I’ll just put that out there. When you have this much fire power there has to be a good balance all around. That’ll be the challenge, but that also is not a bad challenge to have.” 

Harris said Brett Brown told him to play his game and figure things out on the fly. It’s good Harris recognizes the difficulty in doing that, but it will need to be done since the Sixers are playing big games right now and down the stretch of the regular season. 

Harris’ Style Fits Philadelphia 

This isn’t the first time Harris has been traded. It’s a regular occurrence for him in his young career so far. He’s used to playing many different styles of basketball and doesn’t sound like he’ll have an issue with what Brown likes to run.

At the same time, he recognizes the type of fans Philadelphia possesses. He’s a Long Island native who’s used to the vibe of the Northeast.

“To see the growth (of the Sixers) from year to year and the excitement in the arena every time we came to play, that’s one thing that always stood out for me,” Harris said. “The fans are going to bring amazing support for the team and give a lot of energy and I’m fueled to come out on this side now and be a part of that.” 

Retaining Harris Shouldn’t Be An Issue 

The 26-year-old is on an expiring contract, due a big pay day. It would be understandable if Harris wanted to test the market after the season to see his value throughout the NBA. On the flip side of that, the Sixers gave up a lot to get him and the others involved in that blockbuster trade with the Clippers. They really need to do whatever they can to make his game work in Philadelphia and re-sign him, just for the sake of not giving up tons of assets for nothing.

Harris made it clear what he’s looking for as a pending free agent. 

“Top of the list for me is just a winning culture,” Harris said. “That’s number one. Number two is just loyalty. That’s the biggest thing. It’s no surprise, I’ve been traded a couple times now, but just finding the right situation for team basketball, a winning culture and loyalty from both sides.” 

The Sixers certainly have a winning culture and showing loyalty to Harris shouldn’t be a problem either since giving up so much to get him is a good first impression.