This week at Fear the Sword, we'll be looking back at some of the miscellaneous players who played for the Cleveland Cavaliers during the years LeBron James played for the Miami Heat. Yesterday, Justin Rowan looked back at C.J. Miles and today we look at Manny Harris.
In 2010-11, the Cavs were really bad. In terms of final record, they won 19 games, which ranks them outside of the top 50 among all-time worst seasons in NBA history. However, they did put together the worst stretch of basketball in NBA history, where they lost an NBA record 26 consecutive games, a record they share with the 2014-2015 Philadelphia 76ers.
Plenty of players suited up for the Cavs during that winless streak, but only one player epitomizes the level of bad basketball during that stretch: Manny Harris.
Harris went undrafted after three decent years at the University of Michigan, eventually signing a contract with the Cavs in the midst of training camp. What would happen in his two seasons as a Cav, well, let's just say they weren't good at all. Fortunately for Harris, his rookie season fell right in the first post-LeBron season -- a chance for him to showcase his skills and get some NBA experience on a team that was in level 10 tank mode.
Unfortunately for Harris, the only highlight from that season for him was highlighting the Cavs' inability to be good at basketball. Harris averaged 5.9 points, 2.6 rebounds and 1.6 assists on 37 percent shooting. The numbers are not good, but those aren't the numbers that truly stand out for him. In his first 34 games with the Cavs, the Cavs only managed to win one game. One game! Also in that stretch, the Cavs managed to lose 31 consecutive games.
Everything the Cavs needed that season, Harris gave them. He coudln't shoot, dribble, pass or defend, but he was perfect for a team that was trying to lose. In fact, everything you need to know about him in Cleveland is defined in what might be the most depressing highlight reel of all-time.
Things didn't get any better for Harris in his next season, which would end up being his last in Cleveland. Harris was waived by the Cavs in July of 2012. Unable to find an NBA team to play for in 2012-13, Harris took his talents to Ukraine, where he put together a decent season in his one year away from the United States. Harris returned to America and tried to make a return to the NBA with the Magic, a return that went unsuccessful as he was waived a month after signing a contract with them.
Harris would later be signed by the Lakers that year, playing nine forgetful games for them, before eventually being sent down to the D-League -- a move that has been beneficial to Harris. In two years with the Los Angeles D-Fenders, Harris was selected to the D-League All-Star game thanks in part to a league-leading 31.6 points per game. Also, fun fact: Harris is the the D-League's all-time leader in usage percentage! If Harris was one thing, shy was not one of them.
In all, Harris' NBA career can be summed up by this stat: his teams only won 15.7 percent (14-of-89) games he played in. Despite that, his impact on the Cavs goes far beyond losing games, as the Cavs selected Tristan Thompson with their pick in the draft following Harris' unspectacular rookie season. And although his NBA career has been less than stellar, Harris has been able to find his niche in the D-League.