Harris’s Hustlers: Volume 1
Welcome to Harris’s Hustlers. Every two weeks I will select a player from each conference who has absolutely gotten after it! This player is not concerned about statistics (although they can accumulate), this player is concerned about wins, and not being the most talked about player on Sportscenter. I will do my best to stay away from all-stars, because let's be honest, the column was inspired by guys like Russell Westbrook. The purpose of this is to shed light on the guys that go under the radar, but contribute a major role night in and night out. We know the NBA season is a grind and I want to acknowledge the true grinders of this league!
Eastern Conference: Brooklyn Nets Forward Trevor Booker #35
Throughout the first couple of weeks of the NBA season, I don’t know if anyone fits the description of a hustler more than Trevor Booker of the Brooklyn Nets. After checking out his Twitter, I came across Booker mentioning his aspirations of doing some business with Jay Z. We can’t knock that kind of hustle off the court, and I will only praise his hustle on the court! His stats are solid throughout the first 6 games of the season. Nothing to write home about but a respectable 8.8 ppg and 9.5 boards for the Clemson product ( which includes 3 double doubles). I knew Booker spent some time with the Utah Jazz and Washington Wizards, but I was surprised to see he was only 28 years of age. The Nets needed to improve on the defensive end and on the glass, and Booker brings both of those qualities and the intangibles of a winner! The idea behind this piece was to bring attention to the players that go beyond the stat sheet. The guys that every championship contender has. We understand the Nets are very far away from that place, but it’s a start in the right direction for sure. My good college buddy once told me the importance of a prime Tyson Chandler. He spoke about the intangibles. How vocal, passionate and active Chandler was. The Nets may have found their power forward of the future in Booker, and he has those Chandler like characteristics! In the words of Jay Z “Im a hustler homie”.
Western Conference: Phoenix Suns Forward T.J. Warren #12
This might be the highest points per game average you will see on here all year (21.7 ppg). Like I had mentioned before I am not focusing on scoring, with that being said I needed to show love to T.J. The guy is in early contention for Most Improved Player of the Year and has been one of the most active players in the league. The third year, 6’8, forward has been extremely impressive on the glass at just over six a game( three offensive, three defensive), in addition to two steals a contest. The young Suns have been fun to watch and have competed every night thanks to Warren, and the young stud Devin Booker. Warren had a game winning dunk in an early season win over the Pelicans, and has shot 40 percent from downtown. On October 28th, in Oklahoma City, his stat line got lost in the night because of Mr. Russell Westbrook. Warren had a monster 30 points, collected 9 rebounds with 3 steals in the crushing overtime loss. His offense though did not make him the first Western Conference player to be chosen on Harris’s Hustlers, it’s his competitive spirit and drive to get better each and every night! With his activity and Devin Booker's ability to fill it up - the Suns (2-5) could be better than we originally thought. Be on the lookout for more hype around Mr Warren, the kid can flat out play!