Manny Harris and Being Graceful

The Lakers are straight terrible this year and everybody knows it. Even Kobe’s knees know it and they refuse to heal so that they don’t have to be a part of this embarrassment of a season. Then last night, Manny Harris put on a demonstration of personal responsibility and grace that demands attention – and has positioned him as a desirable free agent heading into the second half of the season.

Manny Manny going 8-11 for 19 points and 8 rebounds on his final night as a Laker.

To catch you up, before last night’s Lakers game (a 10 point road loss to the Timberwolves) the Lakers respectfully let Harris know that he wasn’t going to be signed for the remainder of the season – his two consecutive 10-day contracts would be the end of their professional relationship (two is the limit for 10-day contracts in an NBA season). Most NBA divas would have reacted negatively – put the lowly Lakers in their place and go out in a blaze of self-indulgent glory. Harris, in a move of sheer grace, played the best game of his season, scoring 19 points on 8-11 shooting and adding 8 rebounds. A remarkable stat line for a guy who has no future with this team. Then after the game, Harris went on social media – the best place for people to humiliate themselves by posting when they are emotional – and posted a gracious thank you to the organization.

313manny5resh: I would like to thank the lakers for giving me a opportunity to be back at the Highest Level! Didn’t end like I wanted but I understand it’s how the game go! #GreatOrganization #GreatFans #GrindDontStop #OnToTheNext

What a refreshing move! This is the kind of attitude that I want my children and other kids I coach to emulate. Work as hard as possible inside the lines, do your best, and be appreciative of opportunities given – because your opportunity is not earned, it really is given (there are plenty of players better than you who aren’t getting the chance that you are!).

This is the kind of move that I wish I saw more often. While Harris would have been justified to tweet out a slam to the Lakers for not keeping him on after demonstrating his abilities – he extended grace and demonstrated to 29 other NBA teams the kind of person he is and the benevolent attitude that he would bring into their locker room. Harris has gracefully made himself the preferable free agent for a team who needs some help at the guard spot going forward.

Extending grace is incredibly easy, yet so difficultly humbling. It is the more difficult move when given a chance at self-righteousness. However, at every single moment, grace is beautiful. It is remarkable. We love to look at it, to talk about it, to tweet it out so everybody can experience grace! So be like Manny Harris – put forth your very best in your game and extend grace to everyone you can!

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