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Maverick Badge is All Net

By Siwale Chabala

People will ask me what the hell is a Maverick Badge and why use it in this article. In the 1970s, Ford General Motors wanted to answer the latest import cars that were coming out from europe so they came up with the Ford Maverick cars. It was supposed to be a mini version of the Gran Torino. "The Maverick Badge" is basically the name tag on the car. I'm not much of a car expert but I wanted to make a play on words. See Devin Harris played for the Wisconsin Badgers in college, the first team to draft him in the NBA were the Dallas Mavericks and now he is one of the franchise faces of the New Jersey Nets.

Harris has a lot to be happy about. He just came off a career year with the Nets, making the all-star game for the first time as a reserve. He averaged 23.1 points, 6.9 assists, and 1.2 steals per game. He is the New Jersey Net's most talented player and by the way did I mention he has one of the hottest girlfriends in the league??? Meghan Allen, google her. This year, the weight of the Nets hopes and dreams will rest upon Devin Harris' shoulders. The gifted guard will be part of a unit that's young and very inexperienced. There are lower expectations for the Nets than the Knicks, and that's saying something.

Devin Harris' game has improved each year in the NBA. Coming out of Wisconsin, Harris was drafted 5th by the Washington Wizards but traded away to the Mavericks for Jerry Stackhouse, Christian Laettner and Antawn Jamison. Harris was put in the fire early as he was supposed to be Steve Nash's back up. Once Nash left as a free-agent, Devin was inserted to play big minutes. As a rookie, Devin had growing pains for the Mavericks, who were a championship contender so his playing time dwindled as the season progressed. In his second year, Harris' numbers improved and was one of the key components in taking the Mavericks to the NBA finals. Dallas lost to Miami in 6 games. He became the starting point guard in his third year and led Dallas to the best record in the league but shortly lived as they got upset by the Golden State Warriors.

After that disappointing year, the Mavericks traded away the young point guard for a more experienced Jason Kidd and everything has been looking up for his career. There's nobody faster with the ball than Harris. Ironically his speed with the ball reminds others of Kidd, who in his youth was a blur on the court with the ball. Devin's jumpshot, once considered his achilles heel, has improved from his rookie season. Through hard work and perseverance, Mr. Harris can be put on the list of young and talented point guards in the NBA. He will have to lead the Nets to respectability. The Nets have to be competitive this year to attract some of the mega superstars that are going to be free-agents after this season. Let us hope Devin Harris helps the New Jersey Nets accomplish that.