He remembers what one of his grade school teachers told him: You’ve got a better shot of winning the lottery than making it to the NBA.

He remembers the sign that hung in his childhood bedroom, the one that never let him lose sight of his ambition. What did you do today to get to the NBA? When he walked into that room two summers ago as a newly-minted first-round draft pick, it hit him. It was real. He looked at the sign and shook his head.

“If you believe it,” Gary Harris assured himself that day, “then anything is possible.” 

And he remembers those first few nights in the league, wearing a suit and tie instead of a jersey, sitting on the end of the bench wondering if he made the right choice to leave college two years early and turn pro. 

“That was my first wake-up call,” he said. “I’d be second-guessing myself, like, ‘Am I really not this good? Can I not play here? Should I have stayed in school?’”

This wasn’t the dream he’d always imagined. Ride the bench? He'd never rode the bench in his life. Yet there he was, a rookie scrub for the Denver Nuggets, humbled by his new reality.