Tobias Harris and Boban Marjanović are everyone’s favorite pair of NBA best friends. The former Pistons and Clippers teammates are off on their on in Philadelphia and Dallas, respectively, but have no fear: the Tobi and Bobi Show still goes on.
While Tobias is having a career-year to help the Sixers to the top-seed in the East, Boban is working to help the Mavs avoid the play-in out West, but the two were able to join forces once again in their new series of commercials with Goldfish.
On Friday, Harris and Marjanović spoke with Dime on behalf of Goldfish to talk about their partnership with the #GoForTheHandful challenge, and also talk about friendship, basketball, Boban’s love of soup, the Chicken Noodle Soup dance that started it all, that time Halle Berry said hi to Boban at the John Wick 3 premiere, and more.
This last year I think a lot of people have been kind of learning how to handle friendships remotely and not being able to see folks as often, and you guys have dealt with that in the NBA. Obviously you don’t get a chance to see each other during the season a lot; what have you guys learned about maintaining a friendship when you aren’t able to hang out in person all the time?
Boban: I think that like so far, right now it’s much easier because we have all the apps. Where they make like WhatsApp, Viber, FaceTime, you know like for like phones, it’s available. Internet like is our limit, you can do whatever you like, but back in the day it was like it was like we had to wait, I need to be staying home and wait for a call or to make a call to set up the meetings. Now it’s much easier. And basically, they say, what is far from you isn’t far from your heart. And I think that right now it’s not the thing, because like now if you have all these apps and all that stuff. And now I can stay in contact with my guy Tobias here, and really our friendship, it’s even more bigger and doesn’t matter if I live in Serbia, he live in Hawaii. Like whatever, we still stay in touch, we’ll still call, and we’ll always stay friends.
And then to talk a little basketball I mean, for you Tobias…
Boban: Wait wait wait, I want Tobias to answer this question [laughs].
Tobias: My friend Boban said everything.
Boban: OK [laughs].
Tobias, this has been a season that obviously for both you and the team in Philly that’s been tremendous. You’re playing with Doc again who’s a coach that you obviously had great success with in L.A., and what do you feel has really clicked for you and the Sixers team?
Tobias: It was a tough last year that we had, you know, playing, not playing. Going to the bubble then not having a full healthy team there as well, so I think it was just a new start for th group. For myself, knowing Doc and his system has helped this whole team, really, every guy, one through 15 — 17 really now, we have a lot of guys — but his style, his philosophy, how he views the game and how he wants the team to go out play. And just more defined roles, I mean, we came into this year and it was pretty much, hey we’re gonna play this type of style basketball. We’re gonna play as a team. We’ll go through Joel. We’re going to be the best defensive team in NBA, and guys roles are going to fall into place. For myself that was, you know — what was needed for this group was us understanding each other’s qualities on the floor and how to best fit together, and we’re able to do that. So it’s been successful, and we just got to keep at it.
Boban, for you watching Tobias from afar, seeing the criticism that he faced early in his time in Philly and seeing him have this kind of season. What do you think that says about about him as, as a person and a player to be able to weather that a little bit and then come out and have the year that he’s having?
Boban: I know Tobias and how he play and what he’s capable to do and I’m basically, like I know he can do that because he already done it. Like in this past year he produced his game every day like, you know, watching him, it’s some like new move and some great plays where he makes. And so I’m always looking like to see him on TV, to see him in person the other day, and of course shooting the commercial right now for Goldfish. You know, like it’s so fun, so fun enjoying him circling all over the internet, all over the TV, TikTok — 8.6 billion TikTokers. Everyone so far is loving it and like everything he is included with this is so good, and he has amazing year and I’m so proud of him and I know he’ll continue to play even more better and this his how he’s able to do and I’m not surprised, because he’s my guy.
And for you Boban, in Dallas it’s been a bit of an up and down year as you guys have had injuries and COVID situations. What’s the message in the locker room as you guys are pushing to kind of get one of those top six seeds and try to keep positive as y’all go into this this stretch run entering the playoffs?
Boban: Of course we have a couple up and downs because of coronavirus, a couple guys go here, couple guys go there. We have barely had a full team like one time or one game. We have, but you know like it’s really like then we were a missing couple guys like every game or so. And so far I think we need to keep like a great energy which is very important. But if we can play like we started to play like the last two games right now, of course it’s possible to be higher than a 6-seed and it’s like I think we do a great job and if we just play like how we play, playing every night coming out ready to play, and I think we will be good.
Tobias, Boban’s energy seems like something that everybody that’s on a team with him and really everybody in the NBA just just really loves being around. What does it mean having a guy like Boban in the locker room who brings that positivity constantly and what does that do for a team?
Tobias: Yeah, every team needs it. That guy that actually really controls the morale and the vibe of the team. You know, seasons are really long, they’re draining, every team goes through ups and downs, and you need positive people that are stable, like throughout a whole year. And that’s Boban, a stable guy. Comes in every day, really brings a joy and happiness to the game of basketball, and not allowing like — I know for him, he doesn’t get caught up in if he plays, if he doesn’t play, he’s gonna be the hardest worker on the team, work his butt off, and really bring people along to understand that, you know life is bigger than basketball. We’re really fortunate and have a great opportunity to play so that was a one thing I always loved about Bobi was, you know, he never had a bad day. I mean Stan van Gundy said that, he’s like Bobi never has a bad day and it’s a true thing he really doesn’t. He always has a good day, unless like you go to a restaurant and they don’t have soup then his day’s bad.
Boban: [laughs] The menu says soup, and they say no we don’t have soup. And everyone give it to me like, why you want to eat soup like that. I don’t know why, this is the only one thing, I want to eat soup. I understand that but, like, I like soup.
Tobias: He loves soup, actually.
What is your favorite soup?
Boban: Nothing, I eat all soups. All soup is my favorite soup. Like, of course, tomato, chicken noodle soup — oooh, chicken noodle soup that’s…
Tobias: Chicken noodle soup is actually his favorite.
Boban: And of course mushroom, all different stuff, but chicken soup is my favorite. Like this is how we started this is what we eat every single day. And this is because for the song, [begins singing] Chicken noodle soup. Chicken noodle soup.
Tobias: This is actually how we started all this [the Tobi and Bobi Show].
Boban: Tobias, do you remember in Toronto, we were getting ready to play a game there, I think we played with the Clippers in Toronto, and they really played that song?
Tobias: They played it.
Boban: They played it and at that time, everybody looked at me and Tobias, like…
Tobias: Yeah they looked at us like, ya gotta do it, ya gotta do it.
For you Boban, where does that positivity come from in you and kind of what is it that you have found this outlook on life to just stay positive and find that joy in every day?
Boban: I think that comes from the place when you were born. Like I’m coming from the small town, of course, coming from the family, to when I came here, like coming from my family, my parents, my family — like coming from my house right now my wife and my kids, mom, dad, sister, their kids. Everything can match, everybody has smiling face. I think this comes from like, I don’t know how to explain it, but I can say that, it’s like when you start, you appreciate your life and you’re supposed to appreciate your life because we do the best job in the world. And we enjoy it being allowed to play every night, play in front of cameras, play in front of fans and love playing basketball. Like, what you want more in your life?
Definitely. How did you come together here for this for this Goldfish partnership and kind of how did you to get on board with them for this #GoForTheHandful campaign?
Tobias: You know, Goldfish had reached out to both of us and really just came out and said, ‘Hey, we want to get the Bobi and Tobi back together.’ So for us it was a no brainer because we both enjoy the snack. It was a snack that I grew up on, you know, first, second grade I’ve taken Goldfish to school and my lunch bag. So then, once we sat down with the creative and the content team, they had this amazing challenge and the biggest thing for us was doing something that really brought people together, was going to be smart, and just allow people to just be active at the same time, of enjoying something. I mean, Goldfish is such a historic snack and brand that people know about. So for us, we were really humbled to get the opportunity and when we were on set, we’re just taking it all in and enjoying the process of filming this commercial and seeing it. And we wanted perfection, we really did. When we were on the camera we really wanted our spots and our scenes to look really clean cut, and they did. And the people love it, the people enjoy it. I mean, Boban, how many TikTok impressions do we got?
Boban: 8.6 BILLLLLIIIIIIOOOOOOOONNNNNNN.
Tobias: 8.6 billion, I mean people are going crazy over this challenge it’s historic.
Boban: It’s amazing, yeah.
I know there’s just a couple of days less left with the challenge, but how can how can folks get involved in and get in on those 8.6 billion impressions that y’all have?
Tobias: Yeah, #GoForTheHandful. Go to the store, get you a box of Goldfish, see how many you can get. Try to beat me, you may be able to, I got 73, but it’s just challenge, invite your friends to do it as well.
Boban: And it’s nice prizes just know this.
Boban, you have the acting experience of the two of you with your performance in John Wick 3. What was the advice that you were giving Tobias about being on set and being on camera as a veteran that you are?
Boban: Tobias already know that. We do Bobi and Tobi show, he does a couple commercial and, you know, I saw how he tried and I think he is already experienced. You know like I was thinking, I figured out for myself that I like to be in front of the camera. I didn’t know why, but they make me so happy. Before it was scary like, the lens from the camera then they scare you, but now like I really like it when it’s a camera there. I enjoy a lot to be around.
Tobias, one last thing, I mentioned the John Wick 3 appearance from Bobi. What what was your review of his debut on the big screen?
Tobias: [sighs] My friend got his ass kicked. They did a good job [laughs]. He did a good job. You know it was awesome because — so like when we went to the premiere this is how I knew he did amazing job, we went to the premiere —
Boban: And Halle Berry say hi to us.
Tobias: Say it again?
Boban: When Halle Berry say hi to us.
Tobias: Yeeeeeah. Halle Berry, she knew Bobi, she knew Bobi. She was like “Boban heeyyyyy!” I was like, dang.
Tobias: But one thing I love about being on the premiere was that everybody knew and everybody like was going up to Bobi, like, ‘Hey, you did such a great job, such great job.’ Like, these really big time actors like Halle Berry, etc. down the line, and I was like man, that’s awesome. Like it’s your first movie and you’re getting your flowers from all these other people, it was a it was a cool thing to witness and be there like, as a friend, it was awesome.
Boban: Thank you, Tobias, because you support me that time and go with me.
Tobias: Yeah, I guess.