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Gary Harris returned to prepare for a long NBA career

Jul 27, 2013, 3:21 PM EST

Michigan State coach Izzo and guard Harris look on in the final minute of their loss to Duke during the Midwest Regional NCAA men's basketball game in Indianapolis

Gary Harris is notoriously bland with the media.

He may only be a rising sophomore in college, but he’s already mastered the art of saying nothing while making it sound like something.

But in an interview with a radio station on Friday, Harris did have an interesting comment about his decision to return to school.

“Growing up, every kid’s dream is to go to the NBA,” Harris said. “And I mean when you’re right there, it kind of feels like you want to take that next step, but you know, you’ve got to think down the road, do you want to just get to the NBA or do you want to stay in the NBA and have a long career?”

“I feel like if I wanted to, I could have gone. I just feel like I’ll be better prepared to have a longer career by staying one more year, being in college, having another year under my belt and just being more prepared for next year.”

That’s the thing that people sometimes forget when discussing the need to jump to the NBA and the desire to chase a guaranteed contract.

You don’t make much real money off of your rookie deal, and a lot of the money that you do make ends up going to someone else — your agent, your financial advisor, taxes. Getting that first free agent deal is where the big money is, and hanging around the NBA for a decade is how you manage to earn never-have-to-work-again dollars.

Harris isn’t just trying to get himself into position to be a high draft pick, he’s trying to prepare himself for an NBA career that will span into his 30s.

(h/t Diamond Leung)

You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.

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