Denton: Harkless Admires Afflalo's Work Ethic and Professionalism


By John Denton
Dec. 19, 2013

ORLANDO – The dressing stalls for Arron Afflalo and Maurice Harkless are side-by-side in the Orlando Magic’s locker room at the Amway Center. This is not a coincidence.

On the surface, Afflalo and Harkless would seem to have little in common. Afflalo is seven years into his NBA career, and is, for the most part, a self-made player who is having an all-star caliber season. Harkless is in his second NBA season, but he’s the Magic’s youngest player at 20 years old and he’s still trying to find his way in the NBA.

Despite their differences, Harkless sees things in Afflalo that has helped him make it through some tough times this season as his playing time has fluctuated greatly. Afflalo, who is one of the steadiest leaders in the Magic locker room, has taken advantage of the proximity between his locker and that of Harkless to talk to the young player about the values of work in practice and always playing hard. Harkless has taken notice of the fact that Afflalo had to work for everything that he’s gotten in the NBA.

``I know that it’s a process for me,’’ Harkless said prior to Thursday’s practice. ``I look at guys like Arron, who wasn’t always the player that he is now. He started off pretty much the same way that I’m starting off. He was a guy who (the Detroit Pistons and Denver Nuggets) just wanted to bring energy and play defense. Now, he’s a guy who I think should be an all-star. I talk to him a lot and he tells me to be mindful of trying to get better every day and stay ready.’’


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