Al Harrington: 2013-14 Washington Wizards Player Review
TAI’s 2013-14 Washington Wizards player reviews…Now: Al Harrington (by Kyle Weidie).
Others (so far): Andre Miller (by Rashad Mobley); Drew Gooden (by John Converse Townsend); Kevin Seraphin (by Kyle Weidie); Trevor Ariza (by Conor Dirks); Martell Webster (by Adam Rubin); Garrett Temple (by Adam Rubin); Trevor Booker (by Adam Rubin); Glen Rice, Jr. (by John Converse Townsend); Chris Singleton (by Kyle Weidie).
6-9 : Height
245 lbs. : Weight
34 : Age
16 : Years NBA Experience
7 : NBA Teams
Drafted by the Indiana Pacers 25th overall in 1998,
signed by the Wizards as a free agent 15 years later.
Time as a Wizard in 2013-14
34 : Games
0 : Starts
511 : Minutes
NBA historical PER contribution equivalent:
maybe Robery Horry with the 2007-08 San Antonio Spurs (9.6)
maybe Juwan Howard with the 2010-11 Miami Heat (8.4)
.035 Win Shares/48 Minutes
NBA historical WS/48 contribution equivalent:
maybe Danny Ferry with the 2002-03 San Antonio Spurs (.028)
maybe Lamond Murray for the 2003-04 Toronto Raptors (-.031)
With Harrington ON the court vs. off
The Wizards offense scored 3.8 points more per 100 possessions (OffRtg)
The Wizards defense allowed 0.1 points more per 100 possessions (DefRtg)
Plus/Minus per 48 minutes: plus-4.3
Numbers, per 36 Minutes
15.9 : Points
5.6 : Rebounds
0.0 : Blocks
1.0 : Steals
2.0 : Assists
2.4 : Turnovers
5.1 : Fouls
Harrington had 277 offensive possessions with the Wizards that ended with a FGA, TO or FTs, and he scored 0.86 Points Per Possession (PPP) on those, ranked 313th in the NBA (via Synergy Sports Technology). Defensively, he allowed 0.87 PPP over 121 possessions, ranked 177th in the NBA.
39.6% Field Goals (82-207)
34.0% 3-Pointers (34-100)
77.1% Free Throws (27-35)
What did we expect?
What I wrote about Al Harrington in his late-October 2013 player preview:
Harrington now finds himself with an NBA doormat in Washington, but not one without an opportunity to be placed at the playoff doorstep.
“So obviously not to name names or whatever, but all that garbage is out and now it’s a new regime,” said Harrington about this year’s Wizards in comparison to the teams of the past that we know all too well. And he speaks the truth. This Wizards team is undoubtedly better positioned to bring much less extracurricular, non-basketball (and basketball) worry to the gray hairs on Randy Wittman’s head and to the hairs sort of left on Ernie Grunfeld’s head.
Harrington has said that he had other options aside from the Wizards this summer, and while this is likely true, he’s in Washington for three reasons: 1) Need (John Wall wants a stretch 4!); 2) Opportunity (Jan Vesely stands in his way for minutes? Please.); and 3) He shares an agent with Wall (Dan Fegan).
What’s at stake? Playoffs. Reputations. The sun-setting of a career. And just maybe, one (or two) more seasons of NBA relevancy.
When “Uncle Al” Harrington scored 17 points and grabbed seven rebounds in 19 minutes against Cleveland in Washington’s last preseason game (Oct. 23), it looked like he could be a candidate to start at the 4 in Emeka Okafor’s absence, in particular if the offense struggled with Trevor Booker starting.
OK, that might not be that close to reality. A team looking to define itself by defense first would always peg Booker at the 4, and Harrington’s stated preference was to come off the bench anyway. Also, Ernie Grunfeld traded for Marcin Gortat two days later, which allowed Nene to shift to start at 4.
Through the early slate (seven whole games before he got injured), Harrington shot 42.9 percent from 3-point land and played more than 18.6 minutes per game. John Wall’s stretch-4 he was.
But then Harrington started missing games with what the team called “wear and tear.” Then, on December 9, in the same media advisory that the Wizards announced Bradley Beal was cleared to increase basketball activities after missing six games due to a right fibula stress injury, the team slipped in that Harrington had undergone a procedure to clear out loose particles in his right knee and that he would be re-evaluated after four weeks. He didn’t return to the court until late-February, 10 weeks later.
Harrington appeared in all but one contest (27 total) after his return and averaged 14.1 minutes per game to go with 6.3 points and 2.6 rebounds. But Harrington had also lost some of his 3-point touch in the process—the 42.9 percent in seven games before getting hurt dropped to 30.6 percent over the last 27 games, which isn’t terrible, per se. He caught a bit of fire over the last three games of the regular season, going 7-for-14 from deep, but the first two rounds of the playoffs weren’t exactly for him.
Neither the Bulls nor Pacers were good matchups for Harrington. He played seven total minutes over the Chicago series, later calling the lack of playing time “unexpected.” But it should not have been that much of a surprise considering how well Nene, Gortat, Booker, and Drew Gooden played in the Chicago series. Indiana posed similar issues with playing Harrington. He didn’t get run in the first two second round games but ultimately received a dose of 23 minutes in Game 4 after the Wizards got blown out on their home court in Game 3, scoring just 63 total points (Harrington got nine minutes of garbage time).
Harrington scored 11 points and grabbed six rebounds in Game 4, helping Washington to a big lead before Paul George’s 39 points took over. He played 21 total minutes over Games 5 and 6, scoring four points (0-3 on 3-pointers), grabbing seven rebounds, and committing seven fouls.
On the season Harrington provided much more in terms of leadership than what he gave on the court. On media day prior to the season, Kevin Seraphin was already calling him the locker room cop. Considering the Wizards only paid Harrington the veteran’s minimum, they still got more value in return. He wasn’t the stretch-4 the Wizards, i.e. John Wall, really needed off the bench, but at times his court presence did not fail to open things up for the budding point guard and his cohorts.
In early-April 2014, Harrington told the story of his knee injury history to Bleacher Report, including the issues he faced last November in Washington:
[Dr. Richard Steadman] explained that my knee was chipping away at a fast rate, and that if it kept chipping away, I’d need a new knee down the road. “Fixing” it would mean microfracture surgery, and at 33 years old, my career would’ve been done for the most part. But he said, “Your only other option is I can clean it out and you can try to get back on the court, but there are no promises.”
Harrington looked surprisingly spry on the court upon his return from getting his knee cleaned up, even managing to dunk (as retribution for a previously missed dunk). But will his knee hold up another season? Harrington to B/R:
Looking ahead, I would love to stay in Washington—even working in their front office or joining their coaching staff. Randy Wittman loves me. I’ve already had conversations with the team. I ain’t going to lie, what would really be ideal for me is if they would sign me at the All-Star break next season. So let me have that time to take care of my body and get my leg strong. I can do 30 games; that’s nothing.
Harrington also mentions in the article that he will probably get another Regenokine surgery this summer—that’s the German doctor blood-spinning procedure first made famous by Kobe Bryant.
Otherwise, Harrington’s future is wait-and-see. Considering he’s part of agent Dan Fegan’s cadre of clients in Washington that includes Wall, Nene, Martell Webster, and Gooden, you can probably count on Harrington being around the team during the summer. Seeing that he has an offseason home in Las Vegas, he could certainly have a presence with the Wizards at Summer League. Is it conceivable that Harrington plays for Washington next season at some point? Yes. Whether there will be an open roster spot remains to be seen, if unlikely.*
Harrington played 420 games over his first seven seasons in the NBA (age 18-24) and made just 60 3-pointers (24.4%). Over the next seven seasons (2005 to 2012), he helped define the changing role of the stretch 4 in the NBA.
During that span, Harrington made the 14th most 3s in the league (875) and shot 36.4 percent on them—a 12 percent improvement from his first seven seasons. Only Rashard Lewis made more 3s as a stretch-4 from the 2005-06 to 2011-12 seasons. Harrington’s percentage, ranked 28th amongst NBAers with 600 or more 3-point makes during that time, is nestled just below Jason Kidd (37.2%) and just above Joe Johnson (36.3%), Vince Carter (36.2%), and Mike Dunleavy (36.2%).
The reality is that no NBA baller is ever ready to call it quits. But after playing over 28,000 minutes in the NBA, is Al Harrington ready to do just that?
The Wizards lost to the Heat in the third game of the season and Harrington missed all six of his shots (all three of his 3s), in 12 minutes off the bench. He missed a 3 in the first quarter, missed another 3 in the second, and then in the third, checking in for Trevor Booker at the 6:49 mark with the Wizards down 12, Harrington proceeded to miss four more shots. The Wizards entered the fourth down by 23 and fought back, without Harrington’s help, to lose by 10 points in Miami.
Getting shook by Brandon Knight.
Colliding with Alonzo Gee.
Missing a dunk.
Interesting stat: the Wizards were 10-4 when Harrington scored eight or more points this season. His season-high of 16 points came in a 114-93 blowout win against the Heat in D.C. on April 14. Miami was without both LeBron and Chris Bosh, but that didn’t rain on the parade of Harrington’s 4-for-6 shooting from long distance.
Sneaky ability to drive to the hoop.
Uncle Al Dunks.
Sometimes the rap game…
* Harrington having a future association with the Wizards could also be contingent on if the team cares or not that Harrington’s name recently came up in the NY Daily News in connection with a “Brooklyn crack lord” / wanna-be rapper. Via a June 3 Daily News article:
A Brooklyn crack kingpin on trial for racketeering and murder wanted former New York Knicks player Al Harrington to bankroll his career as a hip-hop artist rapping about real-life mayhem, a defense lawyer said Monday.
Ronald (Ra Diggs) Herron was hanging with Harrington and rapper Waka Flocka Flame before the feds brought down his alleged career as the leader of a violent drug gang in the Gowanus Houses project.
Harrington appears in several YouTube music videos with Herron — including a party bus scene in which he flashes what appears to be a gang sign, a source told the Daily News.
Now, all of this happened around three years ago when Harrington played for the Knicks. And him appearing in rap videos with unsavory characters is far from an indictment of Harrington’s character. The article also only mentions Harrington as a “potential” investor and does not indicate whether said investment ever happened. Otherwise … there Al is … in some rap videos by “Ra Diggs” … acting like he belongs.