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Al Harrington develops a ‘coaching’ alter-ego amid time off


When Al Harrington was signed to a one-year deal this past offseason, the Wizards were well aware of all the baggage that carried with him; the age, the wear and tear, and the possible recurrence of injury to the right knee that shelved him for all but 10 games last year in Orlando.

Harrington suffered a staph infection from a preceding knee injury and the soreness he’s been dealing with over the past few weeks is reportedly related to that.

According to reports, Harrington is still not ready to return and does not plan to until he is 100%.

In his last four games before the injury, Harrington had shot 11-for-21 from downtown and was just getting into rhythm. He has averaged right around 8 points per game in just seven games played this seaso.

What you may remember from Harrington’s initial days with the team and training camp is his knack for leadership and guidance. Since being forced out of action, Harrington has been all but a lemon just nursing his injury. According to CSN’s J. Michael, he’s been loud and vocal, doing anything he can to stay involved and help the team’s progression — including some actual coaching.

“I’m coaching my ass off. I’m coach Harrington and the player, like back in the day. It’s crazy how like when you’re playing compared to when you’re really sitting and watching, you see the game in a different way. I can go and tell Eric (Maynor) to be more aggressive, tell John (Wall) to do this, tell Nene to do that. The good thing about it is those guys come and they reach out to me and ask for advice. Nene is like, ‘Guys are guarding me this way, how can I get to the middle.’ Usually, I have an answer for him.

“I want to stay in basketball when I’m done playing. This may be a cool little segue to see if I got it. I always said I’d never wanted to coach. These last couple of weeks just in my little role trying to help the guys out, I feel like I might be a possible good coach. We’ll see. But right now, I’m a player. Focusing on playing. Hopefully, I’ll get out there soon.”

Although Harrington’s contributions off the bench have been sorely missed, his trusted involvement with the younger players is something I was expecting and something that is inexplicably beneficial to this team’s growth and on that note..


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