LA Clippers Mamba Mentality Challenge: Montrezl Harrell

LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 10: Montrezl Harrell
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 10: Montrezl Harrell /

A few weeks ago, Kobe Bryant issued “Mamba Challenges” to various public personalities. Our staff felt the need to issue our own challenges to each LA Clippers player. Next up is Montrezl Harrell.

The Challenge

Montrezl Harrell’s challenge is to embody the bench’s energy.

Harrell is a hustle player; his motor is also his biggest strength. This challenge is not just for Harrell to push himself, but also to go harder than everyone else off of the Clippers’ bench. One of the biggest and most important aspects of a team’s bench is their ability to come into the game full speed ahead. An NBA bench needs to be able to control the tempo on both sides of the court just as well as the starters can. Harrell can be a crucial part of this tempo control for the Clippers, so long as he hustles.

The type of energy that Harrell can provide off of the bench can offset the chemistry issues this team may have. What chemistry issues? Well Felton, Speights, Pierce, Crawford, Bass, Stone, and Anderson are all no longer on the Clippers bench. Training camp starts now, and all of the new players acquired this offseason have minimal time to get used to playing with each other. If every player on the team went as hard as Harrell, the chemistry wouldn’t be an issue, but with so many different playing styles from each new player, it can and will be. Harrell can set an example for how much hustle a player off of the bench needs to have.

Harrell played just 18.3 minutes per game for 58 games last season. If you were watching any of these Rocket games, you probably confused him with Nene due to their hair, size, and playing style. While they were on the Rockets last season, the two would work out together and Nene would tell Harrell how to play against specific centers in the NBA. The difference between the two is that Harrell is 23, and Nene is 35. Last season the Rockets chose to start Harrell for 14 games. This is how his former coach Mike D’Antoni described it (paraphrased for clarification):

"“Being successful is always a combination of things from the team, but Harrell’s individual attributes and his ability to play hard were part of it as well.” -Houston Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni"

D’Antoni and his Rockets will definitely miss Harrell this season. He is one of those players whose value will never be measured by their numbers, but by the effort they put in when they get minutes. He has never slowed down his style, so completing our challenge of bringing the best energy off of the bench should be possible for Harrell.