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Al Harrington says winning wasn’t on the agenda in Orlando last season

Aug 13, 2013, 2:51 PM EDT

Al Harrington AP

Al Harrington is feeling healthy once again, and should he pass a team physical, he’ll be playing for the Wizards next season.

Harrington is a 15-year NBA veteran, and like most in his situation, he wants to play for a team that’s focused on winning instead of rebuilding, as the Orlando Magic were last season. He was part of the deal that sent Dwight Howard to Los Angeles, but managed to appear in only 10 games in Orlando thanks to a staph infection he contracted following surgery to repair a torn meniscus.

Harrington believes he was healthy enough to play more than he did last year, and said that the reason the team kept him out of the lineup was because winning wasn’t a part of the plan.

From Michael Lee of the Washington Post:

“For me, last year was just a nightmare, from start to finish,” Harrington said. “The Orlando thing with, I think they brought me there never expecting me to play, but then I got healthy and it was kind of a surprise for them. It was tough, but I understood that was the business and they had to do it for whatever there reasons was. Winning wasn’t on they agenda and that wasn’t nothing I wanted to be a part of at my age.”

Essentially, Harrington is accusing the Magic of tanking last season. And since Orlando finished with a 20-62 regular season record — worst in the Eastern Conference, which isn’t easy to accomplish — it’s hard to come up with evidence to dispute Harrington’s statement.

The whole tanking thing is a very fine line, because it doesn’t make sense late in the season for a team going nowhere to play a veteran on his way back from injury heavy minutes, when the young players on the roster would be better served by getting that playing time to develop for the future.

There’s no doubt that can be frustrating for a player in Harrington’s position. If all goes well, he’ll get the chance to help a Wizards team that’s trying to win now and make the playoffs as early as next season.

  1. dirtydavis - Aug 13, 2013 at 3:04 PM

    Soo– Winning is on the Wizards agenda?

  2. david407 - Aug 13, 2013 at 3:08 PM

    Harrington was extremely out of shape when he came back and his shot selection was horrendous, so they because they were playing Tobias Harris who was averaging 18 and 8, and Nik Vucevic who was second in the league in rebounds, they must have been trying to lose. This guy is delusional

    • adamsjohn714 - Aug 14, 2013 at 1:20 AM

      Not playing him was in itself a major step towards winning.

  3. wizskinz - Aug 13, 2013 at 3:10 PM

    We can not win until Ernie Grunfield is fired

  4. edwardemanuelson - Aug 13, 2013 at 3:45 PM

    Wasn’t there a few winners who were interested in your services a week ago, Al?

    It ain’t on Washington’s plans, either.

  5. skinsfanwill - Aug 13, 2013 at 3:46 PM

    He was out of shape. But after sitting 30 games out of the playoff race you might as well play the youngsters anyway. No sense in getting vets injured and lowering their moral any further. The young guys are happy just to be on the floor. Harrington is a good player but he is tossing that team under the bus. He didn’t complain when he got his paycheck every week, but only appeared in 10 games. Don’t complain now.

  6. lastdukestreetking - Aug 13, 2013 at 4:35 PM

    If the core Wiz players stay healthy together this year, they’ll be a playoff team.

    • dirtydavis - Aug 13, 2013 at 5:22 PM

      nice way to aim high

  7. jabronikid - Aug 13, 2013 at 9:31 PM

    And now he speaks like a winner? Duh.

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