Even though he might have been the key to last week’s J.J. Redick trade, when most people hear the name Tobias Harris, they’re like, “Who? David Cross in ‘Arrested Development?’” because that is the only Tobias anyone really knows and Harris still isn’t notable enough to show up on Wikipedia’s list of people with that name. Needless to say, even though he could end up as a solid role player in the NBA, Tobias Harris is a pretty minor entity.

But that’s all about to change, since he’s now wearing the most infamous number in Orlando Magic history. From the Orlando Sentinel:

Dwight Howard’s jersey number was destined to be retired by the Magic — until his tumultuous exit last summer.

Everyone knows the story.

The end of the story — at least a symbolic end of the Dwight chapter — came Saturday night in Orlando.

Another Magic player appeared on the court wearing Howard’s old No. 12: Tobias John Harris.

Harris played his first game since arriving from the Milwaukee Bucks in a multiplayer trade last week for J.J. Redick, scoring 14 points and blocking three shots against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

“I’ve heard a lot about that because it’s Dwight Howard’s number,” Harris said, managing a laugh.


Another person who had an impact on Tobias’ career and life was Morgan Childs.

He and Childs were best friends and AAU teammates in Long Island. But Childs died at 16 of a rare blood disease. So Tobias, to honor Childs, wore Childs’ No. 12 during his senior year in high school and in college.

But he had to wear No. 15 when he joined the Bucks, as No. 12 had been taken by forward Luc Mbah a Moute.

After being traded to the Magic, Tobias reclaimed a number that means so much to him, a number that once meant so much to Magic fans.

Well that is certainly one way to stop being a completely unknown player — by rocking the uniform number of a franchise cornerstone who just whined his way out of the city, Tobias Harris is basically ensuring he’ll see some No. 12s in the crowd, even if they are just people who don’t want to count that $60 they spent on a Dwight jersey a year ago as a sunk cost. It is kind of a roundabout way of seeing your own jersey, but it’s pretty smart. (He could also maybe consider handing out duct tape to fans so that they can DIY themselves a Tobias Harris jersey but that might be overstepping his bounds a bit.)

It’s not terribly shocking that this would happen though. The Jazz gave away Deron Williams’ No. 8 to Josh Howard the season after Williams was traded and Randy Foye is wearing it this year, Anthony Randolph is wearing Carmelo Anthony’s No. 15 in Denver and Quincy Acy is dropping scraggly beard hairs all over Chris Bosh’s No.4 for the Raptors. You could actually make a pretty terrible team of guys who have taken the numbers of big-name players after they left.

But it does feel pretty early in the game for the swap. It was less than a year ago that we all got to watch the most awkward press conference in history and there’s already a new No. 12 in Orlando. It’s just a little strange, especially when you consider guys have been told not to wear numbers because of the past they have associated with them. And it has to be weird, I’m guessing, for Orlando fans to see No. 12 again so soon. But nostalgia is for suckers and sharks die if they ever stop moving. I guess this is growing up.

Comments (8)

  1. As a Warriors fan, it bugs me whenever someone on Golden State wears 10 or 23, because I want to see those numbers get retired for Tim Hardaway and Mitch Richmond someday. But I don’t think any Magic fan wants Dwight’s number retired. So whatever, rock the 12 Tobias.

  2. al-farouq aminu had a #3 hornets jersey in his introductory press conference. I guess someone wised up and realized he probably shouldn’t take the number of the superstar he was just traded for, haha.

  3. sorry, derek harper.

  4. I was more annoyed about Kiwane Garris taking Penny’s #1 than I am about Harris getting #12.

    Dennis Scott and Nick Anderson both had their numbers immediately used, too. Maybe the Magic just don’t have much sentimentality when it comes to jersey numbers.

  5. and maybe you will see Tobias Harris at a movie, sneak preview

    • How you like me now bitch!!!!! That goes for you too trey kerby and this fuckin shitty article!!! Justin you can catch at my movie tobias mother fuckin harris dunkin on your favorite nba star coming to a court near you bitch!!!!!!! And trey its not weird for fans to see a different player wearing #12 so you guessed wrong. we have lost better players in the past and turned it around fast everytime (top 5 team win percentage since 1989) you say you find it strange trey that tobias harris would wear #12 cause your told your not suppose to wear a number because of the past associated with them thats bullshit not every team retires numbers and if the player associated with the number is that special the team will retire it in the magics case they have never had a player play 10+ seasons so why would the magic consider any players number special if there was ever a player that the magic might consider at this point its nick anderson if you dont understand why on that one you really just dont know shit about this team and should refrain from speaking on the magic till know your shit stick to your team. and just cause when you see #12 you see dwight doesnt mean its what everybody else thinks that saw him play in mcdonalds all american and in college so the first time i saw him wearing i thought thats HIS number from college not damn he trying pull a publicity stunt and most of all when tobias see’s #12 he see’s morgan childs and you never know in 8 years he might be the best #12 in magic history and to all the fools that say this guy crazy he could never be as good never say never cause he could have wrote this damn article over 10 years ago about who the hell does this kid from the raptors think he is wearing #1 thats penny’s number does he actually believe he is worthy of it why would he do that to himself that kid turned out to be tracey mcgrady and if you think penny had a better stint with the magic you look up the numbers so there you go your theory on number association in the end means jack shit for tobias harris and now trey after 26 games in a magic jersey you know you wish you had this kid on your team and it cool to admit that this kid isnt a punch line cause in the end the the number on a jersey shouldnt mean anything to a true fan its just for the refs and so you can point out a player to a bandwagon fan who doesnt know shit about basketball with that said i will save you trey and justin a seat on the magic bandwagon in a couple seasons and trey you can wear your dwight jersey if you still cant wrap your head around that orlando has moved on from howard to harris

  6. Shaq’s #32, Dwight’s #12, Nick Anderson’s #25, and (depending on which end of the 1980s you were born) Penny/T-Mac’s #1. Is there a franchise with more unretired numbers uniquely associated a player?

  7. Tobias Harris is tearing it up now. Do your research, he is a first round pick from the University of TN who left early and was predicted to be the overall No. 1 pick this season if he stayed in school.
    Horrible, horrible, article to a person who has no clue.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *