Now that the old No. 12 is out of the way and out of Orlando for another year, Magic fans can love the new No. 12 again.
Tobias Harris quickly took over the number worn by perhaps the best player in the Magic's history and that was as much a sign that the team and organization had moved on. Or simply did not care. We will talk about Howard and moving on later.
This is about why Tobias Harris dons No. 12 and wanted the number so bad. The number was important to Harris as it honors a friend and AAU teammate who died from a rare blood disease when he was 16. As Danny Morales of DTM News Journal writes, the number had special meaning for Harris and is a reminder of his journey:
Being so young at that point and knowing how much Morgan loved the game,” said Harris about the turning point. “Knowing how much we both wanted to make the NBA. There was a point in my life when I was like ‘I’m about to do this, I’m about to put in a whole bunch of effort.’ So I know he’s watching over me upstairs.
Harris asked team officials if he could wear No. 12 after wearing it in high school and in college at Tennessee. He could not grab the number in Milwaukee but snagged it when he came to Orlando. It was open after all.
Harris has been impressive for the Magic so far, averaging 15.4 points per game on 51.9 percent shooting. He has started the last three games and that included an impressive double double against the Lakers on Tuesday where he scored 17 points and grabbed a career-high 15 rebounds. The playing time has been a big boost for this talented young player.
He also did this to Dwight Howard, and that is always nice: