Every February, Black History Month is celebrated to honor the achievements of blacks who have contributed to everyday culture.
Notables like Garrett A. Morgan is credited for inventing the traffic light and many have noted George Washington Carver’s contribution to the creation of peanut butter.
“It’s so many African-Americans that have done remarkable things and a lot of inventions that don’t get credit for it,” Philadelphia 76ers forward, Tobias Harris told me.
“Those things aren’t taught. You have to go out there and seek them for yourself. The more I think of it, it’s a very true thing.”
Before the Sixers’ 117-111 win over the Brooklyn Nets on January 17, Harris addressed the Wells Fargo Center about the impact of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his legacy.
“Martin Luther King stood for equality,” he said.
“He stood for love. Amongst everybody, all the different individuals of life, to be able to walk out and embrace each other and cherish everything that we do on a daily basis. In our world, what he and his message brought to everybody, is meant for more than ever.”
A Long Island, New York native, Harris really digs Dr. King and his stance on non-violence.
Apparently, he’s immersing himself into the knowledge of tons of other notable prominent African American public figures. “When I came up in school, you only knew about two people; that was Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks which was taught in the education system,” Harris told me.
“It wasn’t until I got out of college, when I started understanding more and more history on Martin Luther King, history on Malcolm X, history on so many different people, so many people African-Americans enabled to get into the education system to have equality in school. So there were a lot of people that I have not heard of, I had to do my own research on so when they ask me to address the crowd, I would like it to be something from the heart and what I believe in and truly realize being a role model in terms of going out and really putting the people first before himself.”
Tobias Harris Talks Sixers Start to 2019-20 NBA Season
Led by the trio of Harris, Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons, the Philadelphia 76ers are currently in sixth place in the NBA’s Eastern Conference. Many experts like ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith and NBA Hall of Famer turned TNT analyst pegged the Sixers as a preseason favorite to make a trip to the 2020 NBA Finals. Harris believes that in order to continue to be successful, it begins with self.
“Continuing to build off of how we’re playing,” he told me.
“More of the little things over the course of the game, honestly continuing to be consistent. We’re very consistent this year so we can thrive off of that, shoot the ball even better and try to be more efficient. I mean, there are a lot of things that I can improve on to help our team that I look to do over the course of the year.”
Taking a cursory look around the NBA’s Eastern Conference, the Milwaukee Bucks are led by a juggernaut in Giannis Antetokounmpo and out in Boston, the Celtics have a three-headed monster of Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum and Kemba Walker.
In South Beach, former Sixer, Jimmy Butler is running things with the Miami Heat and he’s got some help with Andre Iguodala who is now his teammate. Don’t forget the NBA’s reigning champs, the Toronto Raptors. A top-three team in the NBA’s Eastern Conference, they’re led by Pascal Siakam.
Sixers’ Biggest Competition for an NBA Title?
Million Dollar Question: Who are the Sixers’ biggest competition in the NBA’s loaded Eastern Conference?
“To be honest, pretty much everybody that’s in front of us,” Tobias Harris told me.
“And truth be told, our biggest competitors are ourselves. Just figuring it out, getting healthy, being at full throttle ready to go as we hit to getting close to All-Star Break and going forward from there.”
Currently on a four-game losing streak, the Sixers are looking for a sense of normalcy.
Harris scored 25 points, hauled in seven rebounds, dished out four assists and had one steal in 38 minutes during Philly’s 112-101 loss to the Bucks recently.