Joe Harris
AP Photo/Frank Franklin II

As Joe Harris fights to make Team USA, he reveals that Gregg Popovich called him up because of his close relationship with Sean Marks.

Brooklyn Nets general manager Sean Marks has a strong connection to Gregg Popovich and the San Antonio Spurs. He played and coached for the Spurs and that connection has helped Joe Harris‘ chances at making Team USA for the 2019 FIBA World Cup.

“Sean, him and Coach Popovich got good rapport,” Harris said. “When Coach Pop called me about playing on the team, he was talking about how much he cares for Sean and how much he loves him. He’s like, ‘I don’t know anything about you, but I love Sean and Sean thinks pretty highly of you so you’re alright in my book.'”

Harris admits that he’s lucky to have Marks in his corner and his Brooklyn connection may have given up a leg up on the competition.

Popovich has noted that he wants players who can do multiple things well. Harris’ bread-and-butter is his three-point stroke, but he’s an underrated passer and a solid defender.

In Friday night’s scrimmage, Harris was relatively quiet, but knocked down a three off a pindown action in the first half. If he makes the final roster, expect to see Harris used as a counter when teams inevitably move to zone against Team USA.

Harris is still in the running for a final roster spot. Bam Adebayo and Thaddeus Young were sent home while Derrick White and Marvin Bagley were called up from the Select Team roster. There are 17 players fighting for 12 spots on the World Cup roster.

NY/NJ hoops reporter (NBA/NCAA) & sports betting writer for XL Media. Never had the makings of a varsity athlete.