Some Nets fans may be burning their Joe Harris jerseys, but Brooklyn isn’t burning any bridges with their veteran forward, despite his playoff woes.
After the NBA’s 3-point champ went into a slump at the wrong time — just 32.7 percent from deep in the second-round exit — many fans have blamed Harris. A particularly dramatic one posted a video to social media burning his black No. 12 Harris jersey, while just one season into a four-year extension even Harris himself openly hoped the organization would keep him around.
On Monday, GM Sean Marks insisted Harris’ ill-timed slump won’t have any impact on the longest-tenured Net’s standing with the team, or his stay in Brooklyn.
“We have to be careful with what-have-you-done-for-me-lately,” Marks said. “He’s a huge part of this culture and driving it, and we owe a lot of that just to who Joe is as a person both on and off the court, how he’s developed, how he’s sacrificed, the work he’s put in.
“Am I disappointed? For sure. But I cannot be more disappointed in Joe than he already is in himself. I know that. He’s taking this tough and difficult and hard, and I know he’ll be back to being Joe and shooting lights-out like he always has. In terms of his future on the team, there’s no comment: Joe is a Brooklyn Net until otherwise, whether that’s his decision or mine. … We 100 percent support Joe and will be here for him, and I expect Joe to bounce back and be the elite shooter he’s shown.”
Harris has shown a penchant for hot regular seasons to become cold postseasons. That’s inauspicious for a shooter with three years and $55.9 million remaining on a deal and is playing for a team harboring clear championship aspirations.
“A lot of us — especially me, hoping that I’ll be around for a little while,” Harris said Saturday night about the possibility of changes after this early exit.
After Harris shot just 19 percent from 3 in a 2018-19 first-round exit, he started off strong in these playoffs, hitting at 51 percent to finish plus-101 through the Nets’ 6-1 start. But he slumped to 24.2 percent for a minus-51 over the last five, with the Nets losing four of them. And Game 7 may have been the most galling.
Harris went 3 of 9 and missed an open 3 that could’ve put Brooklyn ahead by three with under a minute left in OT. The Bucks rebounded and came down for what turned out to be the winning basket.
“Obviously I’m disappointed. I wish I’d played better,” Harris said. “I wish I would’ve shot more efficiently, help alleviate some of the pressure that other guys were facing.
“But this is the situation that we’re in. And frankly, had I played better, we might be in a little bit of a different spot. So it’s definitely going to be a motivating factor for me in this offseason going forward.”