Saturday, March 8, 2008

Devin looks for normal in return

It’s been a surreal yet somewhat normal day for Devin Harris. He tried to make this feel like a home game as much as possible, but didn’t know where the visitors’ locker room was inside American Airlines Center.

His usual pregame routine during his days with the Mavs was low key. He would sit at his locker directly in front of the big screen and watch film while answering a few questions from us media types. Tonight he held a full-scale press conference outside the Nets’ locker room.

As far as basketball, the transition to New Jersey appears smooth considering the lack of practice, the lack of wins and Harris’ return from injury. He’s enjoying running the Princeton offense and the freedom given by Nets coach Lawrence Frank.

“It’s definitely a different set up,” Harris said. “I have no restraints whatsoever. The team is mine. The play calling is mine. I’ve got pretty much total control out there. It’s a different feeling than what I had in the past.”

It’s also interesting to hear some of the questions asked. You can tell where certain people stand when it comes to the trade and what they perceived were the reasons behind it.

One of the questions asked: Did Dallas give up on you?

Harris quickly put that in perspective: “I got traded for Jason Kidd. That’s a lot. Give up on me? I don’t think so.”

Another: Were you a scapegoat for the Mavs’ problems?

Harris: “I don’t know. I don’t pay attention to a lot of that stuff. …If you look at the way they’re playing, Dirk’s numbers are up. Who’s to say they’re not right.”

Harris admitted it wasn’t natural referring to the Mavs as “they” at first.

“It took me a while to get to that,” he said. “I used to say ‘we.’”

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