Al Harrington was the youngest player in the NBA when he broke in with the Indiana Pacers on a team that included Reggie Miller, Mark Jackson, Jalen Rose and Chris Mullin. Fifteen years later, he's not only the oldest player on the Orlando Magic but older than their general manager. And after a season in which he spent more time in street clothes than in uniform, he's smart enough to figure out what Rob Hennigan and the rest of their braintrust has in mind. "They're building for the future," Harrington said. "They needed those young guys to get experience. I've actually been on a team like that where I was one of those young guys who probably played over a veteran and probably didn't deserve to." So as much as he would like to see Maurice Harkless, Tobias Harris and Nikola Vucevic continue to mature and have a hand in that development, it's a good bet Harrington's future lies elsewhere. "The thing about the NBA now is it's all a numbers game," he said. "We're not players anymore. We're contracts. We're numbers. So we'll just see if I fit in here, and obviously they want to play young guys, and I'm far from being a young guy." Harrington turned 33 on Feb. 17. One of the best presents he could have gotten came about a week later, when he was finally cleared to practice with the team which acquired him and guard Arron Afflalo six months earlier from the Denver Nuggets. After the Nuggets were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs, Harrington underwent surgery to repair torn cartilage in his right knee. But medical complications resulting from that procedure limited him to only 10 games, the last of which came March 15 at Oklahoma City. Since the season ended, Harrington has reportedly stopped wearing a bulky knee brace and will begin working out for other teams early next month with the Magic's permission. He got to the Eastern Conference finals with the Pacers in 2004 but has advanced beyond the first round just once since then.
Al Harrington not likely in Magic's rebuilding plans
Fox Sports Florida | May 25