Interestingly enough, many of the big name American players to take their talents to the Chinese Basketball Association were either New York Knicks before they went or upon their return. Stephon Marbury, Tracy McGrady, Wilson Chandler, J.R. Smith, Kenyon Martin and now Metta World Peace…..oops, The Pandas Friend. Well now another former Knicks player can be added to that list. Al Harrington is expected to announce his move to China tomorrow.
Al Harrington was never given the respect he deserved from New York Knicks fans despite some prolific performances. The man known as "Al Buckets" was labeled a chucker, someone who threw shots up from anywhere and everywhere, a player always overpaid.
Harrington has played in the NBA for 16 years but injuries, mainly his knees, have hampered the last couple years. However, Harrington has never been a man lacking confidence.
He still feels he has something to contribute, despite the lack of interest from NBA teams. As a result, he’s taking his talents to play overseas.
Source: Al Harrington has signed to play in China next season. Announcement to come Monday. Beyond China, still envisions coaching w/ Wiz.— Jared Zwerling (@JaredZwerling) August 10, 2014
Al Harrington's Chinese team will be the Fujian SBS Xunxing Sturgeons. One-year deal.— Jared Zwerling (@JaredZwerling) August 10, 2014
Harrington is a strong presence in the locker room and could have a future in coaching. Perhaps spending so much time in a suit on the bench has Harrington thinking that's not a bad way to make a living.
For now, he thinks he can still help a team on the court. The fact is, Harrington would have been a nice fit on the Knicks had his health not gone south in the past few season. However, there's no way Phil Jackson could have taken a chance on a veteran who has played only 181 games in his four seasons since leaving the Knicks.
That being said, his desire to play is admirable and the fact that he's willing to go to China to do so speaks for itself. Hopefully he'll have success over there and his knee will hold up.
Maybe when the Sturgeons season is over an NBA team will come calling. Maybe not. Either way, China should prepare itself to see Harrington bombing shots from distances most players wouldn't dream of shooting from.
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