The backup big man received permission to leave the Walt Disney World campus two weeks ago because of the death of his grandmother. He doesn’t appear ready to focus on basketball yet, posting on Instagram last night that he doesn’t know when he “will stop crying.”
“I don’t know how to feel right now,” Harrell wrote. “I feel lost empty you are my queen, my best friend, my light in all darkness. I never had you leaving my side. I don’t know how I’m do it but I got to find some way but losing you today isn’t going to make any day I wake up easy.”
Coach Doc Rivers told reporters today that the team will give Harrell as much time as he needs to deal with his grief. He said the league needs to recognize the importance of mental health and treat those situations as seriously as it does physical injuries.
“I’ve talked to him … From others I get asked from inside like, ‘When is Trez coming back’ and my answer’s been the same — when he’s ready,” Rivers said. “When he’s ready, he’ll come back. You can’t play if you’re not right mentally and because of the emotional part of it. His grandmother is very tight with him, so all I told him is ‘I love you and take your time. We’ll be ready with open arms when you come.'” (Twitter link from Andrew Greif of The Los Angeles Times)
Harrell, Lou Williams and Patrick Beverley all left the Clippers for personal reasons over the past two weeks. Williams and Beverley have both returned, but Williams is on an extended quarantine, while Beverley is playing under a minutes restriction.