Player Capsules: Al Harrington
By John Denton
May 8, 2013
ORLANDO – The Orlando Magic’s run of six straight seasons in the playoffs is over, ending the Eastern Conference’s longest such streak. But not all is lost for a Magic franchise with a bright future.
The Magic have a history of success that says that the franchise will soon be back in the NBA’s postseason. In the past 20 years, the Magic have made the playoffs 14 times – the fifth most times of any NBA franchise. And since the 1992-93 season, Orlando has had a .500-or-better record 16 times – also the fourth-best mark in the NBA over that time frame.
There are plenty of positives to come out of the 2012-13 season as the Magic have established a core of promising young players and they have a base of veterans expected to return next season.
Orlando also has secured the best odds at getting the top overall pick in the June 27 NBA Draft. The draft order will be determined in the May 21 NBA lottery, a process in which the Magic have a 25 percent chance of winning. The Magic have won the NBA’s top overall pick three times, and the last time they were in this situation they won the top pick and used it to select Dwight Howard in 2004.
Looking back on the 2012-13 season, we here at orlandomagic.com are going to spend the next three weeks breaking down each of the players currently on the Magic roster. We’ll look at their stats, highs and lows from the season, a favorite moment and analyze their role for the future.
So without further ado, here is today’s Magic player capsule:
NAME: Al Harrington
JERSEY NUMBER: 3
HEIGHT, WEIGHT: 6-9, 245
POSITION: Power forward
NBA SEASONS: 15
2012-13 SEASON STATS: 10 games, 5.1 ppg., 2.7 rpg., 35.1 percent FG, 26.7 percent 3-point FG, 75 percent FT.
2012-13 SEASON HIGHS: 10 points (March 4 vs. Hornets); 5 rebounds (two times – latest March 4 vs. Hornets); 3 assists (March 4 vs. Hornets); 2 steal (March 4 vs. Hornets); 0 blocks; 18 minutes (two times – latest March 4 vs. Hornets).
BEST MOMENT: In absolutely one of the best feel-good moments of the season, Harrington returned from months of rehabilitation on his right knee and led the Magic to a stirring 98-84 victory in Philadelphia on Feb. 26. Playing for the first time since having offseason knee surgery and a subsequent Staph infection, Harrington had nine points, three rebounds, two assists and a big 3-pointer to key a second-half rally by the Magic. Not to be outdone, Harrington came back a week later in New Orleans and had 10 points, five boards and three assists to key Orlando’s big comeback of the season. He took a feed from Tobias Harris and burned New Orleans’ center Anthony Davis with a 3-pointer that gave the Magic the lead for good.
OF NOTE: Harrington’s scary knee injury kept him out of action until Feb. 26 and then the team shut him down on May 16 because of lingering pain and swelling in a knee that needed four additional procedures to clean out the infection. Harrington remained a true professional to the very end, encouraging the Magic’s young players and serving as a mentor for the team.
FUTURE ROLE WITH THE MAGIC: Harrington came right out and said after the season that he was well aware that he had no future in Orlando because of his age and the Magic’s youth movement. Harrington still has two years remaining on his contract, but both seasons are only partially guaranteed. Orlando undoubtedly will look to trade Harrington this offseason and if it can’t do so will likely negotiate a buyout with the 15-year NBA veteran. To Harrington’s credit, he worked extremely hard to get back out on the court and proved that he does still have something left in the tank. His performances in Philadelphia and New Orleans were inspirational to some of the Magic’s young players and the hope is that he can continue to play in the NBA for a couple of more years. As a backup plan, Harrington is planning to attend broadcasting classes this summer in hopes of becoming a TV analyst after his playing career is complete. He certainly has the smile and the charisma for a TV job, and his insight from 15 years in the league could prove to be extremely enlightening.
Note: The contents of this page have not been reviewed or endorsed by the Orlando Magic. All opinions expressed by John Denton are solely his own and do not reflect the opinions of the Orlando Magic or their Basketball Operations staff, partners or sponsors. His sources are not known to the Magic and he has no special access to information beyond the access and privileges that go along with being an NBA accredited member of the media.
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