VIDEO: Arena Link: Gary Harris
By Gary Harris, for NBA.com
Hey everyone! Trying out my first blog for NBA.com. I feel like I started off the season well in my NBA debut about a month ago. My first minutes came against my hometown team, the Indiana Pacers. I always play well against teams from Indiana, so I knew I had to really step up in front of all my family and friends. I couldn’t believe how many people came to the game! I saw friends I hadn’t seen in years who bought tickets and came to support me, even though they were Pacers fans. I felt really proud seeing so many people in Indiana wearing Denver Nuggets colors and cheering for me, so I knew I had to have a big game as my way of saying thank you.
Getting my first minutes in an NBA game in my hometown meant a lot to me. I have been preparing for my first NBA game since I was a little kid, so playing in front of my family and friends came as a small reward for all of the hard work I’ve put in since childhood. I dreamed about playing in front of the most important people in my life in my home town for years. Seeing my dreams come true definitely was a humbling experience that made me appreciate all of the ups and downs throughout my career.
During our win against the Pacers, I had probably my most exciting play of the year. I drove by my defender and dunked on two defenders in traffic, which made Sportscenter’s Top 10 Plays of the Day. All of the Nuggets fans cheered pretty loud except for my mom. She wasn’t paying attention during the play and missed the whole thing, but they showed her face on TV when she realized she missed a big play. I will never let her live this one down…
We started off the season a little slow as a team, but we’ve picked up the pace considerably the last few weeks. It takes a lot of time to fully gel as a team and get on the same page with everything we do. I think teams will see a completely different Nuggets squad by the end of the season because we have so much room to grow. We have shown that we can compete with anyone in the league. Now it’s time to start building on the teaching points throughout the year so we can see some concrete evidence of progress from the beginning of the season.
Adjusting to the NBA lifestyle definitely takes some time to get used to, but I think I’ve handled it pretty well so far. We travel way more than I ever did in college, so that is also an adjustment. I’ve got a good group of teammates to learn from, so they make the transition a lot smoother for me. Having another rookie (Erick Green) to go through the process with also helps ease the stress a little bit. Knowing I’m going through the same issues with another person makes my issues more manageable because we can figure out solutions together. All in all, the transition is going well, and I’m really lucky to be in this position.
Thanks to everyone for taking the time to read my diary. For updates on everything about our journey this season, be sure to follow me on twitter @thats_G_ and tune in for our games throughout the year. I know we have a lot of great basketball ahead, and I’m very excited to see where this season takes us!