Called up from the NBA D-League’s Los Angeles D-Fenders just 24 hours earlier, Manny Harris made his debut in Lakers purple and gold on Friday night in Boston, chipping in towards a 107-104 road victory that snapped a six-game losing streak for the Lakers.
Harris saw nearly 23 minutes of action, hitting 2 of 7 field goals (1 of 2 three pointers and 2 of 2 free throws) plus three rebounds and an assist, while competing to coach Mike D’Antoni’s liking on defense.
The 24-year-old, 6-5 guard had been lighting up the D-League for L.A.’s own affiliate, averaging 30.6 points per game with 6.5 boards, 3.7 assists and 2.1 steals per night, when he received the call up on a 10-day contract from Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak.
Harris spent the 2013 preseason with the Orlando Magic. After not making the final roster, he was planning on heading to the D-League’s Canton Charge, the affiliate of the Cavs, for whom he’d played 80 games from 2010-12. Meanwhile, D-Fenders GM Nick Mazzella was working on acquiring Harris’ rights for the D-Fenders, and after consulting Lakers assistant GM Glenn Carraro, reached a deal to acquire Harris in exchange for a second round draft pick.
Harris exploded onto the D-Fenders scene, dropping 41 points in his first game, a win over Santa Cruz, before earning consecutive Performer of the Week accolades.
“We really liked what we had seen from Manny before initiating the process of acquiring him,” said Mazzella. “His ability to get to the basket and finish is his biggest strength, and we think that translates to the NBA level.”
Harris is the third D-Fenders player already this season who’s worked under the coaching staff led by Bob MacKinnon to move on to other professional opportunities, in addition to Malcolm Thomas (San Antonio) and Jamario Moon (Olympiakos of Greece).
There’s certainly nobody else in the world that can lay claim to Manny’s government name: “Corperryale L’Adorable Harris.”
Harris broke it down prior to the game in Boston:
Cor: After his cousin, Corin
Perry: After his uncle, Perry
Ale: Four of Manny’s nine siblings have an “Ale” in their name. Manny is the second-to-youngest of the Detroit clan.
L’Adorable: All 10 Harris siblings have a “L’A” in their name.
Manny: Called Manny for his whole life, Harris says his father, James, claims that it’s after Manny in the movie “Scarface.” But since Manny meets a grizzly end in that film, Harris prefers the story that his mother, Merrick, thought he looked like a man-child when he was a baby.