The only disappointment was that she didn’t live to see it.
“It just hurts that I can’t bring it back to him,” Harrell said, with the trophy sitting next to him.
He won it on Friday, retaining the league’s top reserve honor with the Los Angeles Clippers for the third straight season.
Harrell ended the two-year run for teammate Lou Williams – who finished third – and gave the Clippers four winners in the past five years. Harrell and Williams helped the Clippers get the league’s strongest bench for the second straight season.
Harrell received 58 first-place votes from a panel of 100 writers and broadcasters, earning 397 points. Dennis Schroder of Oklahoma City was second with 35 first-place votes and 328 points, while Williams got the other seven first-place votes and 127 points.
The vote only considered games until March 11 and none on reboot. Harrell did not play during this after leaving the Disney squad to return home due to the death of his grandmother, but returned to help the Clippers in the second round of the playoffs.
Harrell was a finalist last year, finishing third. He said his grandmother told him he would get it this year, that he would be recognized for the way he worked in the game she introduced him to and which he fell in love with.
“We definitely talked about it and she told me this year was going to be my year,” Harrell said. ” It’s hard. It’s hard. ”
The Clippers are averaging 51.5 points off their bench, continuing to get solid play from their second unit. Ahead of Williams’ back-to-back accolades, Jamal Crawford won the last of his three awards in 2016.
“He epitomizes what a sixth man of the year award winner is and believe me we’re getting used to it here with Lou Williams and Jamal Crawford in the past,” said Clippers coach Doc. Rivers. “It’s really amazing that Trez is joining the group.”
Harrell is a 6-foot-8 energy force, outshining the other big men on the boards and ahead of them on quick breaks. He averaged 18.6 points in 63 games, including two starts, until March 11.
Williams presented the award to Harrell in practice, and Harrell wore a shirt with Williams’ picture on it during his press conference.
“It was amazing for your teammate, a guy you think of as a mentor, a vet in this game that you would like your career to last as long as his,” said Harrell. “Like I said, a guy who was the carbon copy that could be presented like that could be his prize, man. He won three.
But Harrell, 26, in his fifth NBA season, was just a little better this time around in the eyes of voters.
He led the league with 11 double doubles off the bench and played four 30-point games, mostly tied. With him and Williams in the lead, the Clippers bench dominated their opponents in 53 of 64 games before the season suspension.