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Harrington confirms he wants out

What my colleague Tim Kawakami first reported, that forward Al Harrington has asked to be traded, has now been confirmed. By Al Harrington.
I’ve been asking Al Harrington for more than a year to talk about his situation. He has refused. I have pleaded with him to share his concerns about his role on the team with Warriors fans (through me, of course) but he continued to decline because he didn’t want to be a distraction, he wanted to give it a chance to work out, etc.
Until now.
Harrington made his frustrations with how he’s used by coach Don Nelson clear to open training camp. Now his tongue is unbridled. Unwilling to simmer in silence any more, Harrington acknowledged he has repeatedly asked for trades and doesn’t want to play for coach Don Nelson. Here is the interview he gave me tonight.

So what is it about playing for Don Nelson that has you fed up?
“I went through it all last year. It all started in the playoffs the year before. It wore on me, you know what I’m saying. I didn’t want to play for him. I told him that this summer. I told Mully that. I reiterated that again to Mully. I’ve told him twice since training camp has started that I don’t want to be here. I don’t think me and coach is going to work out, regardless of who’s playing, who’s not playing or whatever, because I feel like he uses me in certain ways and I don’t think that’s going to change. We all know how Nellie is. We all know his history. If you’re not one of his dudes, you ain’t never going to be one of his dudes. And that’s the truth.”

“Have I asked them to trade me? Yes I have. Plenty of times. All summer. Once a month. It never happened. I’m still here. Do I know what my future is? I don’t know. First game is tomorrow. We’re going to see what happens. But at the end of the day, if it’s like last year, then I can’t be here. And that’s for damn sure.”

Why now, the day before the season start, would you ask Mullin to trade you?
“I’ve been pissed off since that preseason game, the way he ended that game. He said he was going to coach it like he would the rest of the season, or for the first game of the season or whatever. I only played 17 minutes. That frustrated me and that put me in the mode from last year. But as far as if I planned on making this media rush right before the season started, no. It just got out and now I’m in a box. But when you ask me a question, I’m going to answer it and I’m going to answer it truly.”

When did you tell Nelly how you felt?
“I spoke to coach in August, I think. He said he’d been hearing that I was unhappy. He understood why. He knows why. C’mon, man. Everybody’s seen it. That’s the thing about it. At the end of the day, I don’t want people to think I’m selfish, like I’m trying to mess up the team. I’m just worried about me being the best player I can be, helping my team.”

What have you done to repair the relationship?
“I’m a very coachable guy. I’ve always been the guy who’s team-first. No coach that I’ve played for would say anything different or have anything bad to say about my character. I’m the type of guy that if a coach told me to run through the wall, I’ll do that. That’s just who I am. That’s what I’ve tried to do to change my situation for the whole time I’ve been here – always do whatever I can, whatever it takes for the team to win. Come of the bench. Shoot threes. Guarding fives. Whatever it takes. Keep the floor spaced. All of that. I’ve always tried to handle my differences with coach by doing whatever he asks me.”

“I spoke to coach the other day. We had a pretty decent talk. He said things will be different. Like I said, that’s just what he said. Do I believe it whole-heartedly? No.”

Where would you like to be traded?
“I got some options I might need to look at if things don’t change.”

If things do change, if you are used how you would like to be, would you want to stay?
“I’m all for it. Yes. Why not?”

Marcus Thompson

  • Dig

    Good riddance! The problem with AL is he thinks he is a better player than he is.

  • Niners in 2009

    “We all know how Nellie is. We all know his history. If you’re not one of his dudes, you ain’t never going to be one of his dudes. And that’s the truth.”

    This is so true. So true..

    We should send Marcus Williams along with AL because MWill doesn’t stand a chance here with Nellie. Eventhough he has more pure PG skills in his pinky than any of our other PGs, he’s not a Nellie favorite, so we might as well cut ties now.

  • Niners in 2019

    MWill is a 3rd string pg.

  • Jayro81

    Nellie is running out of players to put in the doghouse.. he probably doesnt want BWright to get PT, but who does he have left?

    PS. DAMN – I just saw that crusher got signed by Milwaukee.. he was a nellie favorite! He coulda started opening night!

  • Ford

    I have a better idea — how about we get rid of Nellie and become a team that good players want to come to instead of running away from.

  • Niners in 2019

    Like Stephen Jackson, you mean?

  • EJ

    Marcus,

    What was the logic in extending Nelson’s contract for an additional two years? It didn’t make much sense to me seeing as how we’re pretty much in a rebuilding state with all the youth we have. How can having a coach around for the next 2 years max help those guys develop with a coach who’s not into….ummm….DEVELOPING YOUNG PLAYERS?? Wouldn’t it have made more sense to have Nellie coach this season out and transition Keith Smart into the head coach position? Now we’re subject to a years worth of Nellie-soundbites of “We suck” and so on.

    I’ve remained pretty optimistic through the whole Baron departure, Monta injury, etc. But to have Nellie stick around I just don’t get.

  • http://hoopforlife.com D. Shu

    Al is mad because Anthony Randolph not only dunked on him with a glare in practice, but will be taking his minutes. Boss up!!
    HoopforLife.com

  • 15/70

    Sorry Al, you are being paid $9 Million a year for Nelson to determine how you should be used. If you would worry more about finishing around the rim and less about how much Nelson is playing you, you would be better off.

    Shut up and play (and try making your lay-ups); you are a free agent at the end of the year. The guy was averaging 17 points a game last year before he started worrying about how Nelson was using him… from there his play has deteriorated

    Time to play the young guys and give Al the Danny Fortson treatment. If the team can find a deal they like, great otherwise Al can sit.

  • petaluman

    Focus, guys! Only 1 post about Al so far.

    Marcus,
    My first thought after reading this is was that I couldn’t believe Al would say he couldn’t play for a coach. That doesn’t generally make you more attractive to another team. However, he’s been in the league for a long time and been a starter on multiple teams and coaches. Whoever he talks to must have convinced him that he’s got some capital around the NBA.

    He’s asking for a trade because he doesn’t want to have to use his opt out and leave 10M on the table. He knows he needs to have a good year or 2 before his next contract signing, if he wants anything near what he’s getting now (productive starter pay). Otherwise, stopgap starter or 6th guy would probably get him the MLE at most. Remember, he did average 17 ppg in 32 minutes for us in his first half-season here.

    If he’s been asking all this time, it’s likely we’ve been looking for a trade. Mullin has always been clear that we will only trade if we feel it improves the team. Putting 1 and 1 together, we haven’t gotten any attractive enough offers. I’m not surprised – he’s got 2 years left on his deal, but with an opt out this year. Whoever gets him isn’t getting an expiring, but could lose him at the end of the year. The better he does for you, the more likely he is to opt out. What do you trade for that? Probably something you don’t particularly want, yourself.

    We need Al for at least a year, because he’s still easily the best PF on our roster. The only possible way a trade could work would be if it either included a decent PF or a backup center Nelson would use, if he was willing to start Turiaf at 4. Trading for the same position is always tricky, and the 2nd option has 2 big caveats in it.

    His response to your last question seems out of character with the rest of the interview, but will probably be the bridge to the most likely scenario. He and Don will have to work together; neither is likely to be going anywhere for at least a year. Hopefully, Captain Jack can come to the rescue here. He’s on good terms with both of them, has everyone’s respect, and has a realistic view of life in the NBA. More than anything, that’s what Al needs right now – someone who is in his corner for all the right reasons, not 10% of what he can sell Al for.

  • Efren

    Seems like ‘double talk’ is the standard practice on the W’s org nowadays.

    Where’s Chris Mullin? Is he still holding office in the org?

  • dogbark

    I agree w/letting Al and Williams go. I thought there was something off about Al at the Open Practice, waay to competitive/trying too hard for a team practice against mostly rookies–and Randolph still schooled him repeatedly.

    Williams may have skills, but again, at the Open Practice it was obvious he does not fit in w/the transition game, and furthermore, he missed a lot of passing opportunities, choosing to keep the ball for himself–and he’s supposed to be a “pass first” pg. He slowed the tempo to a halt, didn’t take advantage of some great picks, and didn’t play team ball. He hogged!

    Set him and Al free!

  • Jaysohn

    What has Al Harrington accomplished in the league to be demanding anything? I mean come on. Really? Does he think there’s some huge demand for his game out there? The Warriors once again are probably in a no win situation. They are stuck with a player who has limited value. Maybe they get lucky and some team offers a decent trade. A package of Harrington with Bellinilli for a decent point guard would be nice. Where is Isiah Thomas when you need someone to make a poor trade with.

  • EJ

    I don’t think there’s anything with Harrington wanting to be traded. Its a simple case of him clashing with the coach. He believes he’s capable of contributing to the team in more ways than he’s been utilized (spot up for 3, spread the floor) and he’s entitled to that. I think he showed a great amount of respect for the organization by going to Mullin first and not posting on a blog or ranting to the media.

    If you’re boss told you “hey, i’m changing your responsibilities to filing and making copies” when you know you’re more qualified what would you do? You’d probably want to leave the company.

    Good luck to Al.

  • JustPuked

    Al seems like a stand up guy, but let’s get real. He’s not living up to his contract. He’s pretty weak at the PF spot and he’s not quick enough at the PF spot. Nellie is using him within the limitation of his abilities. Nellie may not be some folk’s first choice as coach but he’s better than the turnstile of bad coaches we’ve had here for the last decade. Get on board and do what he’s asking you to do. I love Al’s self confidence but Nellie has also asked him to rebound and score around the basket and Harrington has YET to be able to get either of those two things done. He shouldn’t be so pissed about how he’s used if he’s unable to get done the tasks his coach is asking him to give the team. While I can’t say as I’ll be sorry to see him go if he gets traded (9mil for a powerless power forward) I do worry that any trade will be at a loss for the Warriors. Every deal I’ve seen so far looks as if we’ll be stuck with someone’s long term contract, instead of the benefit of Al’s expiring deal and the protection he gives Wright and Randolph as the mature into the position. On the other hand, maybe this would be the push Nellie needs to fully embrace this as the “training year” emphasizing developing youth on a three year plan to turn the Warriors into Champions. Ooops, I gotta little too much Kool-Aid in my coffee there.

  • JustPuked

    Too slow at SF…and
    as THEY mature…

  • Peter

    If Al wanted to be traded, he should have rebounded the ball so he was tradeable.

  • potty

    Over paid baby!!!!

  • potty

    Shut up and play!!!

  • jsl

    I still say it’s all good if we can swing Al for a good point — and that’s likely either javaris C or Felton, both of whom should be available from teams where Al would better fit.

    P.S. The delicious irony here is that it likely means another Nellie non-fave — BW — will likely now get the PT he needs, to develop.

  • A.J.

    Al Harrington is the Lamar Odom of the Warriors.

    His role is constantly changing from starter to 6th man.

    Both guys are similar in demeanor, quiet and probably won’t complain all that much. But both guys have began voicing their frustrations more recently. By the way, Lamar looked very active and almost wanting to prove a point in last night’s destruction of the so called ‘up and coming’ Blazers. He came off the bench and was hustling after loose balls, making open shots and attacking the rim.

    Harrington finally had it and I agree with him. Nelson uses Harrington primarily as a spot up stand alone 3 point shooter to knock down wide open shots. Harrington can do much more than just that. For all his faults that Warriors fans harp on, the guy averaged 14 ppg last year and about 7 rpg.

    I understand what you guys are saying about rebounding and scoring easy baskets around the rim, but again, when you are ‘picked on’ from day 1 and you haven’t even really been told what your role is, then how do you know what coach wants you to do? Nelson wants Harrinton to shoot and make 3′s, whether he began the Harrington era wanting this from day 1 or whether he decided on this after seeing Harrington was lacking in the areas some of you guys are talking about like rebounding or scoring around the basket, I don’t know.

    But we all know Nelson and how he tends to ‘pick on’ and call out guys, so I am not so quick to give him the benefit of the doubt and say that Al’s underachievment is because of his lack of rebounding ability. I think he just feels picked on and he wants out, don’t blame him, Nelson always does this.

    Nelson has a history of ‘blacklisting’ players and placing blame sqaurely on the shoulders of 1 player. He did it with Tyrone Hill when he was Coach and GM of the Warriors in the mid-90′s. Tyrone Hill went on to be an All-Star.

    Again, this is just typical Nelson BS.

    It’s unfortunate, because I like Al Harrington.

    By the way, last night’s Portland v. Lakers game, I think our team would have lost equally as bad against the Lakers, they are healthy and in great shape, all of them, from Farmar to Chris Mihm to Vladimir to Vujacic to you know who (#24), they are going all the way!

  • A.J.

    I took the liberty of double checking Al’s PPG and RPG 2007-2008 season averages because in my post I put his numbers and I wanted to make sure I was correct because I take pride in what I write on here and I want to be accurate:

    Looks like I was pretty close:

    Here is his PPG and RPG averages line from last year:

    07-08 GSW 5.4 (rpg) 13.6 (ppg)

    Again, 14 points and 5 rebounds, I said 14 and 7 in my previous post, I think things could be a lot worse Warriors fans.

    Al Harrington’s production is not the reason we did not go to the playoffs last year and he’s not the reason we lost some winnable games last year like the MLK day loss against Minnesota, or the home losses against the Bulls and Bucks.

    Basketball teams lose games as a team. We did not have Jackson for the first nine games, we only won 2 of those games. We led the league in 3 point jacks and 3 point makes, we were one of the worst defensive teams in the league. And we can’t score in the 4th quarter to save our lives.

    Until the whole team addresses these issues as a team and rectifies it, I am not willing to point fingers at individual players.

  • goingforthemoney.com

    For all the comments that have been made concerning Al’s state of mind, he is not the long term answer for the W’s anyway. Let try and appreciate Al for what he has contributed to for the W’s and that is a playoff run, and respectability for the organization. Where were we before the brothers united Al BD and StackJack came to the team. The man has a legitimate grip. It’s not about what he can’t do it’s about what he’s not allowed to do. Have a nice day and GO WARRIORS!

  • Ewok

    I think this statement is more of a leverage than anything else.

    He wants to stay and his using the media to pressure Nellie to change his approach in using him.

    Nellie will adjust. But at the end of the day –or the season, if Al still doesnt deliver, then its all business, nothing personal.

  • 61ixty

    Suck it up like a man.

  • eric

    for 9Mil/yr, if my boss told me to file papers all day, i would.

    Shut up and play.

  • warrick

    I wonder how he wants to be used. He cant finish inside, he cant rebound, and he doesnt have any face up moves worth mentioning. He cant blow by people like Ellis. He needs to show first that he can do more things than what we see rite now. then the playing time, plays for him, everything else will come. So like everyone else said, just play!

  • Phil

    The Warriors would miss Al’s shooting. I like Al, but as others have said he’s not the long term guy. But he’s still a good fit this year because he can shoot and the W’s have lost a lot of outside shooters.

    But I think Nellie is using him right and I think Wright and Randolph are the future, so I want to see them get playing time without hurting the team while they learn. That means playing Al in the 4th quarter, but having him sit long stretches in between.

    I say take advantage this year, then let him go with the best deal he can get based on his production this year.

  • blahblahblah

    Al got what he asked for last night and we all saw the result at the end of the game….suck it up or get bent Harrington

  • mike

    If Al wanted out, is there any way the Warriors trade for Drew Gooden. We needed inside help on rebound and he is really good with offensive board.

  • Le

    Harrington/Wright/Belinelli for Gooden & Henrich, I’ll take that. Not sure if salary works out though.