Why Is Nobody Talking About The CBA’s Most Outstanding Player Of 2016?
Hollywood couldn’t have scripted it any better. Record breaking season, miraculous comeback, grande finale – a story for the ages capped off by arguably the greatest turnaround in all of sports history.
From the bottom of the barrel to top of the food chain, American Mike Harris catapulted the 18th seeded Sichuan Blue Whales of China’s CBA from the depths of mediocrity to a 2016 League Championship. For a club that cumulatively won more games in a single season than their entire history, the transformation that occurred in the Wending District of Southwest, China this year was definitely one of epic proportions. Considering NBA veterans Metta World Peace, Darius Johnson-Odom, Daniel Orton, DJ White, and Hassan Whiteside had all previously failed to establish a winning tradition in Sichuan, there’s no question.
Posting career best averages of nearly 33 points and 13.5 rebounds per contest, Harris didn’t just rack up on the team accomplishments but also those of an individual nature, returning stateside with the Player of the Year, Forward of The Year, Import of the Year, and First Team All-CBA awards. With Bryce Cotton, Andrew Goudeluck, Michael Beasley, and several others earning NBA call-ups upon their own returns, it appeared as if the CBA’s most outstanding player of 2016 would follow suit.
However, more than three weeks have passed since Sichuan upset top seeded Liaoning and not a word has been said about Harris. Imagine the Philadelphia 76ers making an offseason veteran acquisition and in 2017 the team goes on to win its first championship since 1983. Although a highly unlikely event, it is hard to fathom or even imagine that not a single blog, website, or NBA forum wouldn’t be swarming with coverage. IT WOULD BE EVERYWHERE, especially if it wasn’t the first time the player had been associated with such an enormous feat.
Like in 2015 when Harris helped turn around a Qingdao Eagle’s squad (CBA) from a leagues worst 5-29 record to one of the leagues best at 28-10 and a first ever trip to the post-season tournament; or perhaps three years earlier, when the forward rejuvenated a struggling Ponce franchise in Puerto Rico, leading the Lions to three consecutive trips to the finals and back-to-back BSN Championships.
Holding a resume littered with accomplishments, hardware, and league MVP trophies this insider begs the question – “What about Mike Harris?” Playing the best basketball of his entire career marked by significant improvements in almost every statistical category, can it be the Texas native will be overlooked yet again?
The Miami Heat just added 31-year-old Dorell Wright of China’s 15th ranked North Control B., whose 2016 stats failed in comparison to Harris and the Celtics signed D-Leaguer John Holland who according to Hoops Rumors, “is 6’5″ and can play two-guard and small forward but would be significantly undersized.” Factor Harris’s 6’6 frame, wealth of playoff experience, and ability to dominate inside and out on both sides of the ball, and it would appear he is a much more logical choice than either of the two recent signees.
Two sources have confirmed the Cavaliers had personnel in China for the CBA finals and with an open roster spot Cleveland could be a perfect fit. Lebron knows Harris from training camp and with lingering injuries and inconsistent play slowing the Cavs down, the risk of signing him may be worth the reward.
As I have said many times before in my pieces on Harris, I am a long time fan, friend, and have even been a business partner of the man, but numbers don’t lie and credit needs to be put where it is due.
So again this insider begs the question, “What about Mike Harris?” Shouldn’t it be, “How about Mike Harris.”
Cleveland, your on the clock and with a long history of playoff injuries, isn’t it better to be safe than sorry?