Lesson Learned: Don't Call Al Harrington 'Othella' | Wizards Blog Truth About It.net

Lesson Learned: Don’t Call Al Harrington ‘Othella’

Updated: January 26, 2011

Also note: Don’t make fun of Al Harrington for wearing K-Mart brand “Protege” shoes any more … it seems that he’s ditched those for Nikes. Now keep reading…

If you’re local to the DMV area, you’ll remember Othella Harrington. He left the South from Mississippi in 1992 to be the next ‘big’ big for John Thompson in D.C., in line with Ewing, Mutombo and Mourning. But while Othella had a productive four-year career with the Georgetown Hoyas, and a tenured NBA career (709 games over 12 seasons and five teams), a famed basketball big man he was not.

Al Harrington entered the league out of a New Jersey high school in 1999 and has appeared in over 830 NBA games spanning 13 seasons. Different Harringtons to most, a bullet point on the mental cheer sheets of a couple courtside hecklers aided by libations on a Tuesday night at the Verizon Center. As you can gather (and as the title of the post gives away), the most oft-shouted quip by said hecklers was to call Al ‘Othella’ — they really David Letterman’d it, over and over. And over.

Al took exception as soon as that magical zinger was found by the heckler’s inner heckler early in the game. He retorted, “I’m not Othella, you dummy!” to the degree where you wondered if he really thought that they really thought he was Othella.

Harrington didn’t give much reason for them to stay off his case though, especially after he’d already engaged the crowd. Through three quarters, he’d played just 15 minutes and put up six points and three rebounds, no biggie. The Nuggets were up 96-79 heading into the final period, so Al could always just point to the scoreboard as the calls of Othella continued. But he didn’t.

With more court run in a blowout, the entire fourth quarter to be exact, Harrington brought the derp faces to the heckling duo via 15 points on 5-6 from the 3-point line, giving him 21 off the bench on the night. At around the 9:11 mark, during a stoppage in play, Al made time to go to the corner of the court near where his antagonists sat. He told them to get some new jokes, the message still wasn’t sent.

After scrappy mash of second unit Wizards trimmed Denver’s seemingly out-of-reach from the opening tip lead to just 10 points, 107-97, at the 5:26 mark, Al Harrington buried any hope Washington had. He answered Othella calls and the Wizards’ run with two threes in the span of 41 seconds. Daggers.

The final score: Denver 120, Washington 109.

It’s a simple equation: Hecklers + beer + Al Harrington – Othella Harrington + Calling Al Harrington ‘Othella Harrington’ + Same Ol’ Wizards =

A loss and the shot chart below:

I promise there’s an X under all those makes in the corner, but otherwise, the four made threes near the hecklers’ seats speak volumes. (Harrington also had one in the first half from that same area.)

Harrington confronts his hecklers.

No, two heckler bros standing to the far right, you didn’t lose the game for the Wizards, but adding that whole lemon-lime argyle sweater to the mix really brought the whole scene together. Nice work.

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Kyle Weidie
Founder / Editor / Reporter / Writer at TAI
Kyle founded TAI in 2007 and has been weaving in and out the world of Wizards ever since, ducking WittmanFaces, jumping over G-Wiz, and avoiding stints on the DNP-Conditioning list. He has covered the Washington pro basketball team as a member of the media since 2009. Kyle currently lives in Brooklyn, NY with his wife, loves basketball, and has no pets.