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Veteran Al Harrington trying to retire on his own terms

Mar 30, 2013, 12:30 PM EDT

Al Harrington AP

At age 33, after 14 seasons in the NBA, Al Harrington has had a good career. He’s averaged 13.7 points a game with 5.7 rebounds.

His career is winding down. He’s fought hard to bounce back from knee surgery only to find himself on a Magic team that is going with a youth movement — they told him he likely will not see the court again this year.

Because of that — and because his contract for $14.7 million over the next two seasons can be bought out for half that (his deal is a five-year mid-level deal) — he will get traded or bought out by Orlando (and if they trade him it’s likely to a team looking to buy him out to save money.

But Harrington does not want to leave the game that way he told Brian Schmitz of Orlando Sentinel.

“I can’t go out like this. I just can’t,” he told me. “Not this way….”

“I understand what they’re doing here. I do. But I think I have something left in this old tank,” he said.

Like a lot of veterans, Harrington doesn’t want to be part of a rebuilding project anymore, he wants to play in games that matter.

“I’m through playing with bad teams,” he said. “If I can’t [sign with a playoff team,] then that’s probably it. What would be the point?”

That likely would involve a steep pay cut after his buyout. But Harrington sounds like he’s fine with that — if he can leave the game on his own terms.

  1. jackntorres - Mar 30, 2013 at 12:50 PM

    I hear the Madison Square Garden nursing home needs one last player for bridge on Tuesdays.

    • badintent - Apr 1, 2013 at 3:25 AM

      ho hum, another game ,another win, boring………… maybe Boston can show up in the playoffs but maybe not. Yawn.

  2. rmo42 - Mar 30, 2013 at 12:54 PM

    Anyone ever notice that Al resembles the early 90s Rafael, the Ninja Turtle? Could just be showing my age though…

  3. dalucks - Mar 30, 2013 at 1:31 PM

    After the buyout, Al should sign with the Lakers to give them some scoring off the bench.

  4. norcalsportsknowledge - Mar 30, 2013 at 1:57 PM

    Al only scores in garbage time, never when the games close.

  5. 13arod - Mar 30, 2013 at 2:15 PM

    lakers need are desprite on the bench

    • dannymac17 - Mar 30, 2013 at 2:44 PM

      what

      • raidmagic - Mar 30, 2013 at 4:46 PM

        Geesh, it’s obvious what he is trying to say, The Lakers need Sprite on the bench. I personally think
        they would be better off with Gatorade but whatever.

    • phaden27 - Mar 30, 2013 at 3:15 PM

      English mother****er!
      Do you speak it!?

  6. phaden27 - Mar 30, 2013 at 3:16 PM

    Celtics might since they lost out of K Mart.
    We’ll see.

    • badintent - Apr 1, 2013 at 3:27 AM

      They lost tonight too…………… Pass the Honey Nutts ma, man gotta eat.

  7. chilomane - Mar 30, 2013 at 4:15 PM

    Come back to denver

  8. raidmagic - Mar 30, 2013 at 4:47 PM

    It’s a shame, I’m a but Harrington fan and now he’s on my favorite team and we don’t have a use for him. Best of luck to him

  9. seanb20124 - Mar 30, 2013 at 5:07 PM

    “I’m through playing for bad teams” maybe teams are bad because they have a bunch of people with your level of skills on the team

  10. broncobeta - Mar 30, 2013 at 10:23 PM

    This guy was a sixth man of the year candidate last season, not an obvious winner, but in the discussion with his play. He definitely has something left in the tank.

    Al Buckets is a straight baller. He is a decent at the three and has a great low post game. Al is also tough as nails. He played the entire playoff series (and the last couple games of the season) on a torn meniscus and with a broken nose. During one game his mask fell off and he just threw it to the sideline and continued to play. A couple of plays later Pau Gasol accidentally hit him in the nose and he continued to play.

    He deserves another shot on a good team.

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