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Battery’s Dead: Tobias Harris, NBA trade deadline are ruining Valentine’s Day

February’s arrival means that January is over, spring is coming, and Valentine’s Day is looming. The sun is peeking out from behind the cold Arctic clouds and warming the out-and-about before abandoning us and leaving everything else to freeze again. The blank slate that we had is gone, muddied, dirty.

February is its own waiting room — walls filled with love and romance, couples and flowers, occasionally snow — that lingers just outside January’s defined circle of Hell. Teasing, it’ll host a stretch of 60-degree Fahrenheit weather and immediately evict it in favor of more dreary, depressing 30s, right as the realization of, “Oh, I’ll be alone again this year,” hits.

I feel good about weathering the Valentine’s Day storm for the first time in my adult life. There will be no ridiculous texts, and I will be sleeping easily, long and warm. I’m comfortable in the bed I’ve made for sleeping through the lovey-dovey period until March.

However, Tobias Harris is ruining all of this. 

Tobias Harris, for the uninitiated, is a basketball player for the Philadelphia 76ers: a 0x all-star who averages roughly 17 (empty) points per game for his career. He’d be a fine player if he wasn’t committing one of the greatest sporting robberies of all time. Over the last five years, he has been paid $180 million to actively hinder his team. 

He has been in dire need of a trade for the last two years, but even more so now due to recent developments

He will throw together the occasional 30-point game, and he’ll play solid defense even, but once the regular season ends, he becomes just as effective as I would be in an NBA game. 

Daryl Morey is the 76ers’ general manager, meaning he is one of the few men in charge of a 76ers player’s fate. I don’t think Morey is an idiot, as he has made some solid moves for the team. But when it comes to Harris, he sits on his hands, tweeting AI images and advocating for cryptocurrency.

In a way — looking past my near-visceral hatred and tweets— I get it. There is something about Harris that is hard to get rid of; he’s a comforting figure to have around in the February lull, but keeping him on the team would be a disaster.

We’re coming up on two more important dates regarding people entering, leaving and reentering lives: the NBA trade deadline and Valentine’s Day. 

For the last two months, NBA fan accounts have been figuring out what to do about their inconsequential players with the same intensity as the lonely folks who will spend the next two weeks deliberating on whether or not to text their ex before the unofficial holiday of love.

Morey and the heartbroken are stuck in the same position: they both know what would be good for them, how to grow into the next stage of their life, but they also both struggle with the fact that it is very easy to do nothing and slip back into the same comfortable, pathetic misery during this dreadful month. 

Rip the bandage off. Ship him to China or Detroit; I don’t care. Just as there is no ex worth going back to — no seriously, there isn’t — Harris is not going to be the guy to stay with. Spring is on the horizon and growth will be in the water. 

I don’t want to join them in this spiral. I fear that if Morey refuses to get Harris out of my life, if he refuses to cut this tumor I’ve had in my head for close to six years at this point, I’m going to regress into a 17-year-old version of myself and spend Valentine’s Day with a bottle of wine I stole from my mother, listening to Bon Iver in the dark. 

I wish the two things I cared about most weren’t so close together. I wish things could be different. I wish my mental health and self-esteem weren’t tied up in whether or not a guy who runs from the three-point line and botches switches on defense gets traded. 

I really do. But if Harris is still a Philadelphia 76er after Thursday’s deadline, I don’t want to think about where my head will be on the 14th.

Please, Daryl.

Matthew Butcher is a junior studying English at Ohio University. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnists do not reflect those of The Post. Want to share your thoughts about the column? Let Matt know by tweeting him @mattpbutcher.

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