Harrell averaged 18.6 points and seven rebounds per game.
- "I just want to say thank you," Harrell said to the award voters before becoming emotional. "This is a tremendous honor. This is for my grandmother, who is not here with me today and not able to see this.
"She's not going to be able to see me do something that she instilled in me as a young child, a game that she brought to my attention and I fell in love with and worked my tail off at."
Harrell is the first big man to win the award since the 6-foot-10 Lamar Odom took home the honor for the Los Angeles Lakers in 2010-11. Harrell earned 58 first-place votes and a total of 397 points to win the award. Oklahoma City point guard Dennis Schroder finished second with 35 first-place votes and 328 points.
The 6-foot-8 Harrell officially accepted the award on the Kia Sixth Man award virtual presentation wearing a Lou Williams T-shirt to honor his teammate, who earned seven first-place votes and a total of 127 points to finish third in voting.
"This is a tremendous honor. I thank you all you guys, especially Coach [Rivers], since I came here, giving me this opportunity. I've grown with you guys, especially Pat, Lou, been around you guys ever since coming into this league. This is really for you guys. I just want to say thank you."