LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – Montrezl Harrell was close last year. This year, his grandmother told him, he was going to win the Sixth Man Award.
The only disappointment was she didn't live to see it.
“It just hurts that I can’t take it home to her,” Harrell said, with the trophy sitting beside him.
He won it on Friday, keeping the honor for the league’s top reserve with the Los Angeles Clippers for the third straight season.
Harrell ended the two-year run of teammate Lou Williams — who finished third — and gave the Clippers four winners in the last five years. Harrell and Williams helped the Clippers have the league’s highest-scoring bench for the second straight season.
Harrell received 58 first-place votes from a panel of 100 writers and broadcasters, earning 397 points. Dennis Schroder of Oklahoma City was second with 35 first-place votes and 328 points, while Williams got the other seven first-place votes and 127 points.
Voting took account only games through March 11 and none during the restart. Harrell didn’t play during that after leaving the team in Disney to go home because of his grandmother’s death, but returned to help the Clippers into the second round of the playoffs.
Harrell was a finalist last year, finishing third. He said his grandmother told him he would get it this year, that he would be acknowledged for how he works in the game she introduced him to and that he fell in love with.