For the third consecutive year, the Clippers have the league’s top sixth man after Lou Williams won the award the previous two seasons. The Clippers now have had the Sixth Man of the Year winner in five of the past seven years.
Williams surprised Harrell at practice today by presenting him with the Sixth Man of the Year trophy at a team meeting.
“I had this talk with my grandmother and losing her this year, it’s still tough every day,” Harrell told his teammates while holding the award in a video taken by the team at Friday’s practice. “This is a tremendous honor. I thank you all you guys, especially Coach [Doc Rivers], since I came here, giving me this opportunity. I’ve grown with you guys, especially Pat (Beverley), Lou, been around you guys ever since coming into this league. This is really for you guys. I just want to say thank you.”
Harrell averaged career highs of 18.6 points and 7.1 rebounds in his fifth season for the Clippers. Williams averaged 18.2 points per game this season. Harrell and Williams are the first pair of reserves to average 18 points per game each coming off the bench since starters were first listed on the box score in 1970-71 (minimum 25 games off the bench), according to ESPN Stats & Information research.
Harrell garnered 58 first-place votes and a total of 397 points to win the award. Oklahoma City point guard Dennis Schroder finished second with 35 first-place votes and 328 points and Clippers teammate Lou Williams garnered seven first-place votes and a total of 127 points to finish third in voting.
Earlier during the NBA restart, Harrell, Williams and Beverley all left the NBA bubble because of family emergencies. Harrell did not play basketball for a month as he was away from the team due to his grandmother’s death. His grandmother helped raise him and was one of his best friends.