When Kenny Atkinson was rebuilding the Brooklyn Nets, he saw similarities between Joe Harris and his former sharpshooter, Kyle Korver.
The Brooklyn Nets‘ rise to prominence is due in large part to their ability to spot and develop players to fill a specific niche. Joe Harris embodies that.
His future in the league was uncertain until Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson gave him a shot in Brooklyn. Harris told Barstool Sports’ “Pardon My Take” podcast that his similarities to Kyle Korver helped him catch his big break.
“I was lucky with Brooklyn, they were in this kind of weird situation where they didn’t have any draft picks,” Harris said. “So, they had to figure out ways to stockpile young talent and at that time I was only 23-years-old. I hadn’t really solidified anything in the NBA, but I did have a specific niche in terms of shooting. Kenny Atkinson had come from Atlanta, one of the plug-in guys that he thought would be good with the good teams in Atlanta, and my comparison was [Kyle] Korver. He kind of saw a little bit of me in Kyle and played that card. That was my break.”
Harris took advantage of that sliver of opportunity and turned it into something bigger. He was the best three-point shooter in the NBA last season, knocking down 47.4% of his shots from deep. Korver has led the league in three-point shooting four times in his sixteen-year career.
Harris has steadily improved his game year after year in Brooklyn. Now he looks like an indispensable piece on a championship roster. Moreover, he’s on the cusp of making the final roster for Team USA in the 2019 FIBA World Cup.
It’s safe to say that Atkinson’s Harris-Korver comparison was on point.