Miami Heat’s Newest Star Opens Up About Forced Weight Gain

Getty Miami Heat's newly acquired player Maurice Harkless reveals his true thoughts about having to gain weight in his position.

Moe Harkless, who signed a one-year $3.6 million contract with the Miami Heat in November, is capable of playing multiple roles on the court, but whatever position he takes on, the 27-year-old is not changing up his physique. He also won’t ever show up on the court looking like a preseason James Harden.

Harkless, who spent last season with the New York Knicks and the Los Angeles Clippers, weighs in at 210 pounds, according to the Sun Sentinal. The 6’7 forward is 20 pounds lighter than teammate Jimmy Butler, and five pounds less than Duncan Robinson. While Harkless is excited to gel with his new team, he’s going to acclimate without changing his physical appearance.

“I think you’ve got to be comfortable in your own skin,” Harkless said. “I’m not going to change who I am. I’ve tried to put on weight before, but a lot of times it just doesn’t work, and I don’t really feel comfortable playing too heavy. I find where I’m comfortable at and I do that.”

“I don’t think I lack strength,” Harkless continued. “I feel like I’m pretty strong, especially for somebody my size. So I just go in confidently with that.”

“I have my advantages when it comes to length and speed, so I just use those advantages. Like [Monday], obviously, I was giving up weight, but I was using my feet, using my arms and using my length to make things hard for him. Make it hard for him to catch the ball. That’s something that I continue to work on. That’s what they’re asking me to do, so it’s just something that I got to be good at.”

Harkless Is Down to Play Whichever Position He’s Assigned

Part of the Heat’s preparation for the 2020-2021 season includes figuring out what role Harkless will play with the franchise. But it sounds like he and Spoelstra have already developed a solid trust with one another.

“I’ve been able to play some different roles over my career,” Harkless said. “I think the main thing I’ve been having conversations with coach about is elevating the level that I do everything at just trying to be great at everything I do. Whatever I’ve done at this point, just do more to be better. I’ve been just trying to give them everything I got and [Spoelstra] been trying to pull everything out of me.”

As for Spoelstra’s position-less approach, “It’s different,” Harkless admitted. “Honestly, throughout my career, even when I played the four… we’d kind of switch up the matchup a little bit. But I have no problem. It’s going to be a challenge to consistently guard guys giving up weight, but it’s a challenge that I’m up for.”

Harkless Gave Up More Lucrative Offers to Play With the Heat

The sought-after forward turned down more lucrative contracts in ord

Harkless turned down out more lucrative offers to sign with the Heat, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, and even though he intends to re-enter the market in 2021 when there’s more cap space in the league, Harkless is enjoying his time in South Beach.

“I think I fit pretty good,” Harkless said. “Obviously, we have to figure out how to make things work in harmony. But I think we’ll get there. I feel like we’re not far off from playing well. We didn’t have our whole team out there, either. I think I fit in really well still and I think as time goes on, it’s only going to be a better fit.”

Heat president Pat Riley was also excited to have Harkless in the mix. He released the following statement after Harkless was signed.

We have always liked what Moe Harkless brings to a team. We like his experience in knowing the role he will play for us real well. Moe can guard multiple positions, play above the rim, great shot blocker for his position and most importantly for our offense, space the floor with his three-point shooting. He is a player with great character and toughness.

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