They made a dominant tag team.
Nets guard Joe Harris joined forces with some of the biggest names in the World Wrestling Entertainment universe on Aug. 17, visiting patients at the Children’s Hospital at Montefiore in the Bronx. It was an eye-opening experience for Harris — who signed with the Nets in July — and one he’s anxious to repeat, he said.
“I didn’t even really know what the event was at first,” Harris said. “Then they kind of explained to me that I’d have an opportunity to go to the hospital with some of the athletes [ahead of SummerSlam on Aug. 21] and right there, I was like, ‘That would be awesome.’ So I wanted to get up here.”
To many die-hard Nets fans, Harris is a bit of a question mark heading into the season. He played college hoops at the University of Virginia, but he has flown mostly under the radar since the Cavaliers drafted him in the second round in 2014.
He’s hoping to change that in Brooklyn, and he’s determined to make an immediate impact in the community.
“I came to be affiliated with an organization that does give back and really makes an emphasis on giving back,” Harris said. “That’s something I’m really fortunate to be a part of. I think as professional athletes, it’s really important that you do give back in whatever way possible.
Harris spent an hour walking from room to room at the hospital, meeting with patients who weren’t able to leave their beds, before spending for another few hours interacting one on one with the kids in a common room. And it was difficult to see who was smiling more — Harris or the kids around him.
“You never want to see anybody get sick, but especially children, so for us to come in here and kind of brighten their day is great,” he said. “Hopefully it just helps and it’s really important that we’re able to do this.”
Harris said his schedule has been pretty “laid back” since he joined the Nets earlier this summer, but he’s anxious to get back on the court and make a run at a roster spot.
He’s coming off a foot injury — which required season-ending surgery last year — but Harris is certain he can bring something to the Nets this season.
“I’ve basically been in Brooklyn and training since I signed,” Harris said. “I’ve just been kind of settling in and working. I’m looking forward to camp and things starting to pick back up as we get towards September.”
Harris relished the opportunity he had in the Bronx, and the chance to give back was something Harris didn’t take for granted. He wants to make a difference on the court, but Harris also wants to make a difference off it as well.
“I’m just excited to be a part of an organization like the Nets,” Harris said. “Everyone who’s affiliated with the Nets has been great. I’m just very thankful to be a part of the Nets and an organization that’s about the right stuff.”