Moe Harkless Guaranteed Himself An Additional 500K By Not Taking A Single Three During His Last Three Games Of The Season
I have to be honest with you, I love this story. I love that Moe Harkless actively avoided shooting from distance during the final three games of his season, and I love that he did so to take every red fucking cent that he could from the Portland Trail Blazers. I admittedly haven't broken down the tape, but this was no mere coincidence. We are talking about a player that didn't have an attempt from distance in only SIX games this season, and THREE of them were to finish out the year a tenth of a percentage point higher than the baseline for his half a million dollar incentive.
This was an all-too-rare example of one player turning the tables on an organization that would have found a way to add a missed three pointer to his stats if they weren't sure that he was paying such close attention to them. I don't care that Moe Harkless put his own financial well being ahead of the good of the franchise, because the franchise has undoubtedly put their own financial well being ahead of the good of Moe Harkless the other 364 days of the year.
I suppose - in the worst case scenario - his apparent refusal to sacrifice 500K by taking a wide open shot from beyond the arc could have cost his team the playoff spot that they ever so slightly squeaked out. However, there's simply no way that this was something that went unspoken in the locker room. In a player versus management showdown, teammates are always going to root for the same side and it's certainly not the same side as the fans that were passionately yelling "SHOOT!!!!". Damian Lillard probably kicked it out to Moe Harkless alone on the wing and then apologized for putting him in a tough position during the next TV timeout. That's the type of casual collusion that puts a smile on my face when it comes at the expense of the people that get paid far more to do far less than professional athletes.