Nice exchange between Nellie and his former starting forward, Al Harrington. As a recap, Harrington publicly requested a trade the day before the season opener, citing irreconcilable differences between
he him and Nelson. The Warriors eventually obliged, sending Al to New York for Jamal Crawford on Nov. 21.
The two reunited on Nov. 29, when the Warriors played at New York. But tonight marks Al’s first return to Oakland, where he played nearly two years.
So, obviously, before the game, Nellie was asked about Harrington. Here is what he said (the questions were inaudible):
“I never knew it was a big problem. I knew he wanted to be traded. We were trying to do that anyway. He made it personal. It was never personal.”
“I understand why. It’s not a problem understanding why. But it was never personal. He made it personal between the two of us. It never was as far as I was concerned.”
“Money has a lot to do with motivation for players to move on. He was wanting to opt out and he needed to have a big year. He thought he was going to be the third-best player here and he wanted to be the best player. Good luck to him. He’s happy, I’m happy.”
“I thought he was going to have a good year, whether it was here or some place else. I thought we would probably trade him before the trade deadline. I just didn’t know when.”
Of course, the pack of reporters went straight to Harrington. Let’s just say he didn’t agree with the Nellie’s assessment.
Harrington (read the entire transcript on Tim Kawakami’s blog)
Nelson said you wanting to leave was about money—that you had the opt-out and wanted to be a bigger part of the offense in order to get a better deal.
Is that what happened?
“I guess that’s what he said. Me and him never had any of those conversations. I think he just made that up. You know him. I didn’t say that. Tell him he told me a lot, too.”
“I just didn’t see eye-to-eye with him. I didn’t like him. And he didn’t like me.”
He said he had no personal beef with you and that you made it personal with him.
“I guess I did. I did want to get traded. Maybe I did make it personal. But a lot of things he said to me were personal, too. That’s why I had to move on.”
Do you look at what Anthony Randolph and Brandan Wright are going through now with Nelson and think, yeah, I know that?
“Yeah, I know exactly what those guys are going through, you know what I’m saying?”
“I talk to B-Wright every once in a while. I just tell him to keep his head, try to stay positive and try to weather this Nellie Storm. Because he’s been known to, you know, ruin guys’ careers. So hopefully that won’t happen to those guys.”
You’re the one who said that once you get on Nelson’s bad side you never get away from that…
“Not really. You’ll go into his doghouse for no reason. It’s hard to figure him out. That makes it tough, because it’s hard enough playing against the opponent every night.”
“When you know you’ve got to play a mind game with your coach, too, it’s just not worth it. You know, the game is supposed to be fun. If you can’t do that, just do the best that you can to get out of that situation.”
Is having some success with the Knicks some vindication for you?
“Obviously I (have confidence) about the way I can play. He knew that. So I had to play well to prove that. But at the end of the day, I’m just free. Just playing with a clear mind, you have a coach who’s very supportive.”