Everything in basketball is about the narrative. What is going to be the story that is going to be written in the late hours of the night that will be ready for the morning? Writers probably have stories pre-written depending on how much work they believe they will have ahead of them.
The NBA All Star Weekend is an easy way to get ahead on some work. And the Three-Point Contest should've been the easiest article to pre-write.
"Seth Drops Seth in Battle of Curry's"
"Steph Continues his Dominance"
"Dirk is Revived"
"Devin Booker Goes Back-to-Back"
"Kemba Wins it for Charlotte"
Any of those would've been the easiest articles to write. But the outcome nobody was prepared for was the one that came to life.
"Joe Harris is Undefeated"
The man with just 40,000 Instagram followers stole the show. That's barely enough people to fill up two NBA arenas. The average NBA fan is guaranteed to not know Joe Harris. Even someone who watches every night may have a hard time recognizing him. Especially with such a basic name like Joe Harris.
Vegas knew who he was prior to this contest, they gave him the fifth best odds to win the contest out of ten participants. Had you put one dollar on Joe Harris, you would've made $6.50 which is pretty good return. But as they say, you can't make what you can't see.
The Brooklyn Nets have a whopping ZERO nationally televised games this season. If you were to ask the common fan to name players on the Nets, you might not get past D'Angelo Russel. You might even hear Spencer Dinwiddie because of his play the last two seasons. But you would hardly hear Joe Harris' name come out of anyones mouth.
This was the biggest stage that Joe Harris played on all season, and he applied all the pressure.
Joe Harris has been the hidden gem hiding in plain sight. Among the participants in the contest, Harris has the best three-point percentage on the season with 47.1%. And it's not like he is shooting this crazy percentage in limited minutes. He has started every game he has played this season, and he has only missed 5 games due to injury.
And it's not like he is barely shooting the ball. He has made at least 3 threes in 28 games this season, and shot over 50% in all but 5 of those games. He hit 17 threes over the final four games leading up to the All Star break. Including his biggest game of the season where he splashed 7 threes in a half against the juggernaut Toronto Raptors.
So how did nobody know his name?
With the luck of the draw, Joe Harris went first in the contest. He set the bar high with a first round score of 26, which was accompanied with everyone in the basketball world tweeting and texting "Who the hell is Joe Harris?!"
Every other shooter took their shots, and the only participants to outscore Harris were Steph Curry and Buddy Hield. Joe pretty much stole Seth's brother privileges from him.
Even heading into the final round with those two, it would've still been easy to write him off against those two sharpshooters. But Joe Harris was the one who raised the stakes and dropped 27 in final round to force Curry and Hield to go damn near perfect from the field. Even with Steph hitting his first nine shots, it still wasn't enough to overcome the score that Joe Harris had put up.
The trophy was now Harris' to keep for an entire year. And as he so quietly came onto the scene, he accepted the trophy in the same fashion. Barely cracking a smile, he stated that it was an honor to compete and that he would be gifting the trophy to a local college for letting him practice prior to the contest.
So next time someone asks you who this guy is, don't make a joke and say he looks like the dude who does your taxes. Say his name, Joe Harris. And let them know that for now, Joe Harris is undefeated.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.