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Thread: A question....

  1. #1
    Administrator Peck's Avatar
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    Default A question....

    This question is inspired by Uncle Buck's question about why fans in Indiana don't (cult like) love Ron Artest.

    This is for a differant player though.

    Why are fans in Indiana so easily disgusted with Al Harrington?

    I'm not saying that I don't get the same way btw, I just want to know why it is that Al doesn't always recieve the benefit of the doubt?

    As an example recently Al had a stint in the starting unit when Ron went down for surgery. He had a mediocre performance during that stretch. He had some games that he was just lousy at & he had a couple of games that he played pretty decent in.

    But almost universally it was considered a bust.

    The thing that makes me curious about this is that Al had legitimate excuses that he never once used.

    An example you say? Prior to the trade deadline it became very public that Al has a lingering injury. One that some people say he should set for. He has made it a point in three differant articles, by my count, to say that he will not use the injury as an exuse.

    Jermaine O'Neal has tendenitis in the knee. Everybody fell all over themselves making sure they said that it was his knee that caused his sub-par performance during the same time. (myself included btw)

    Nobody would accept the same thing from Al or even offered it up as much of an excuse.

    Al is often called selfish & a black hole. Yet nobody ever talks about how Thomas told him it was his job to score for the backups. I know that Thomas is not here now but he had him for four years & it was his formative years.

    Al was drafted by the Pacers. For God's sake this is baby Al were talking about here. He was the teams mascot during the deep playoff runs. Bill Benner even wrote an article about him when they were getting ready to open the fieldhouse & talked about how the building would be mature just as Al's career was winding down.

    He has never caused a problem, in public. Of course we don't know what goes on behind the scenes but from all indications he has not caused a rucus.

    Thomas, Carlisle & Walsh have all complimented him on his professionalism in accepting his role.

    But yet when we talk about trades Al is always the first to be offered up here. I'm sure it's because he is a player who we feel we can depart with & get something in return.

    I guess I just want to ask everybody, why don't we hold anymore loyalty to the guy?

    I honestly beleive that if a poll were taken today online today most of us would choose to trade Al & keep Jon Bender even if it meant we could get the same player.

    BTW, I'm not accusing anybody here. I am just as guilty sometimes about the same thing. I am even asking this question to myself.


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  2. #2
    Member Ragnar's Avatar
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    Default Re: A question....

    Maybe our expectations fro Al are too high. You make a good point he has taken some of the finger pointing that he probably did not deserve.

    I do think that if he were on another team where he knew he was either a power foreward or a small foreward he would be an all star. We expected him to take a couple of games to get used to the sf spot and when he did he put up 21 points. Of course the very next game Ron came back and he went back to being the backup pf.

    I think he just seems like the odd man out. He is not the best sf or the best pf on the team. But he is very good at both and most of us think about what he could bring because he is redundant here.

    We had a few good games out of Bender but the last couple have not been very good. So if we loose Al we would loose the consistent play from the bench.

    I would hate to see us loose Al but I think I have bought into the Al is unhappy with his role story's that we have all read. We take someones word that he was pouting on the bench when taken out for Jeff at the end of the game.

    Most likely it is the old story of you dont appreciate what you have untill it is gone.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: A question....

    We'll never loose Al. We may lose him for a Center, though.

  4. #4

    Default Re: A question....

    I really liked Al's game prior to his knee surgery. He played w/ high energy (crashing the glass, taking charges, diving for loose balls) and was a good defender - probably our best before Artest came over. He had a good quick first step that allowed him to get by people offensively.

    It seems that he has lost that step along w/ some of the high energy plays he used to make. I would say his defense is average - he has problems keeping players in front of him. Offensively, he can't seem to get by people so he settles for the fade-away quite a bit and his turnovers per game are at a career-high pace.

    I think his game has leveled off and I was looking for bigger and better things from Al. Two years ago I would have guaranteed that Al was going to be an all-star at some point but I can't see that now. I hope I am wrong about that. Maybe I shouldn't have had those expectations but I honestly did.

  5. #5
    Administrator Unclebuck's Avatar
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    Default Re: A question....

    I have to make this short.

    Very good question Peck as usual.

    I have always had special feeling toward AL, maybe because of his personality and that he was drafted straight from high school and we've all seen him grow up. When AL tore his ACL two years ago in that January game in Boston I cried, and felt sick to my stomach for a day or two.

    Jump ahead to today, I have said all season long that AL is the third best player on the team. However I have had big concerns about whether a lineup of AL, J.O and Artest is big enough to compete against most teams. I don't think it is and that is why Foster has been playing most of the crunch time minutes. Pacers interior defense is better when Jeff is in noticeably better.

    Another thing that has hurt AL was the aquisition of Artest. AL's defense seemed good until Ronnie got here and then it paled in comparison. AL seemed like a very good all around player until I got a look at Ron.

    The two best players on the Pacers team right now are clearly J.O and Artest, that is true now and that will be true for the next 10 years, AL will never be better than those two. The problem with that is J.O and Ron play the two positions that AL plays.

    Trading AL: I want an allstar caliber player in return, because I believe AL will be an allstar if he were to go to the right team. I have real reservations about trading AL for Dampier. And I still believe the Pacers choose to keep AL instead of Brad Miller. I think in the end that was the real choice that was made.

    One other thing I need to mention. If AL can accept his current role as 6th man, as someone who finishes some games, but not the majority of games, if AL can accept that role then I hope he is not traded ever. But I don't think he will accept that role and I firmly believe that role is best for the Pacers team, besides I don't know if AL should accept that role, he can do better, maybe not on a 60 win team though.

  6. #6
    Administrator/ The Real Jay ChicagoJ's Avatar
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    Default Re: A question....

    -snip-Al is often called selfish & a black hole. Yet nobody ever talks about how Thomas told him it was his job to score for the backups. I know that Thomas is not here now but he had him for four years & it was his formative years. -snip-
    I hope Isiah only had him for three years. I know that team drove to me to drink a lot back then but I don't think I blacked out for an entire season.

    One other thing I need to mention. If AL can accept his current role as 6th man, as someone who finishes some games, but not the majority of games, if AL can accept that role then I hope he is not traded ever. But I don't think he will accept that role and I firmly believe that role is best for the Pacers team, besides I don't know if AL should accept that role, he can do better, maybe not on a 60 win team though.
    Al reminds me a lot of Elton Brand in this regard - each is too small to really dominate at thier best position even though they're capable of putting up really nice numbers.

    I beleive if you flip-flopped the two, Al could put up Elton's numbers for the Roach Clips but they wouldn't have a different record. Elton could fill the suber-sub role for the Pacers but we wouldn't have a different record.

    But if you look at it from the individual point of view, not the team point of view, then Al could be a borderline all-star on a weaker team. NBA players have a short window of time when their earning potential is at its maximum - I'd rather have every player in the league look out for the best interests of the Pacers but lets face it, they need to look out for #1.

    And that becomes even more true when the player suffers a career-threatening injury, and while he's hurt his team trades for his replacement who, in turn, proceeds to disrupt the team with a league-leading number of suspensions for a season-and-a-half.

    Peck, I like Al, but I'm no longer opposed to trading him. I think one of the causes of this double-standard is that Al really wears his emotions on his sleeve. He won't be confused with a cold-blooded type of player. Since its so easy to see when he's happy, its also easy to infer when he's pouting, sulking, disappointed, upset, etc. I'm not saying this is automatically wrong but it opens the doors for fans like us to think we know more about what's going on inside his head. Therefore, he isn't judged on basketball alone.

    We'll never loose Al. We may lose him for a Center, though.
    Poor Ragnar. Its too bad "loose" would pass a spell checker or I'd recommend one of those little programs that can check spelling in any text box.

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  7. #7
    Member Ragnar's Avatar
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    Default Re: A question....

    Man I cant believe I keep doing that.

  8. #8
    ENABEABLER MagicRat's Avatar
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    Default Re: A question....

    Man I cant believe I keep doing that.
    At this point I just assumed it was on purpose......
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  9. #9
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    Default Re: A question....

    Man I cant believe I keep doing that.
    At this point I just assumed it was on purpose......
    A couple of times it was but not that time.

    I got straight A's in spelling in school but in the mean time I seem to have forgotten how to spell. It must be all the books by foreign authors I read. Yeah thats the ticket.

  10. #10

    Default Re: A question....

    sorry
    "They could turn out to be only innocent mathematicians, I suppose," muttered Woevre's section officer, de Decker.

    "'Only.'" Woevre was amused. "Someday you'll explain to me how that's possible. Seeing that, on the face of it, all mathematics leads, doesn't it, sooner or later, to some kind of human suffering."

  11. #11

    Default Re: A question....

    sorry still
    "They could turn out to be only innocent mathematicians, I suppose," muttered Woevre's section officer, de Decker.

    "'Only.'" Woevre was amused. "Someday you'll explain to me how that's possible. Seeing that, on the face of it, all mathematics leads, doesn't it, sooner or later, to some kind of human suffering."

  12. #12

    Default Re: A question....

    I think there are two reasons some are hard on him:

    1) They think that he should be traded (which it may come to that becasue he might be too good to be a bench player and unless Ron is actually a 2 that is all Al will be here) and they are trying to justify a trading a good player and cushion the blow. Kind of like when Brad got traded suddenly he had a bad work ethic, was slow, and had peaked.

    2) When Ron first came here there was a competition between Al supporters and Ron supports because it wasn't clear then who was the better player for this team. Although Ron is now clearly the better player the there is carry over in criticing Al in order to justify what a good player and model citizen Ron is.

    I like Al and UB pretty much summed up my feelings on him. If we do trade him I will feel best if we get an all-star caliber guard.

    But when we trade him I think will will miss him more. When Ron or JO go out there will be a big let up and teams will have a bigger sense of relief. With Al we still have a post treat when JO leaves and a good defender when Ron leaves. (Some may disagree about Al's defense which has become a recent criticism but compare Al's defense to our next best SF) The fact is Al really helps us wear down teams because there is not let up.
    "They could turn out to be only innocent mathematicians, I suppose," muttered Woevre's section officer, de Decker.

    "'Only.'" Woevre was amused. "Someday you'll explain to me how that's possible. Seeing that, on the face of it, all mathematics leads, doesn't it, sooner or later, to some kind of human suffering."

  13. #13
    ENABEABLER MagicRat's Avatar
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    Default Re: A question....

    Looks like 6 reasons to me.....
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  14. #14

    Default Re: A question....

    I felt very passionate about it
    "They could turn out to be only innocent mathematicians, I suppose," muttered Woevre's section officer, de Decker.

    "'Only.'" Woevre was amused. "Someday you'll explain to me how that's possible. Seeing that, on the face of it, all mathematics leads, doesn't it, sooner or later, to some kind of human suffering."

  15. #15
    ENABEABLER MagicRat's Avatar
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    Default Re: A question....

    I felt very passionate about it
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  16. #16
    Pacer Junky Will Galen's Avatar
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    Default Re: A question....


    But yet when we talk about trades Al is always the first to be offered up here. I'm sure it's because he is a player who we feel we can depart with & get something in return.
    It's not a knock on Al, it's the circumstances. Everyone else that would bring a good player in return is BYC. Since this is a knowledgeable forum nobody is proposing trades that aren't practical.

    Unless we win the title this year I look for Bird to trade a couple young guys this summer to better balance out the roster. It remains to be seen if Al will be involved, although I suspect he would be the center piece in any trade.

  17. #17
    Jimmy did what Jimmy did Bball's Avatar
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    Default Re: A question....

    A few things...
    Al has been a tradeable commodity for a while now and the team has weaknesses that could be addressed.

    Al has shown he can be better than what we've seen lately. He's played better offense and he's played better defense. His knee injury could be a factor of course but if so then we best look harder at the 1st line I mentioned before the league figures it out.

    He forces a lot of offense and there's no 'payoff' for it (turnovers and bad shots instead). He's shown that when he does play in the flow he can do much better... but he doesn't seem to want to do that.

    He's a player that could really help the Pacers. We've seen him do those things. But he seems to have a different agenda. He wants more. It makes him appear selfish. It's a lot of the same type thing that soured some people on Jalen. Neither player is likely as good as they think they are.

    Anytime you have a player who you know can be a better, more effective player but doesn't do it then it sours some fans on that player.

    Wanting to be better... to be a starter... is one thing. But forcing things, ball-hogging, etc isn't the way to make your point.... or help your cause.

    -Bball

    EDIT: I also want to add that some probably have taken rumors seriously about Al's desire to be traded. That might even magnify some of the above issues I mentioned.
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  18. #18
    How are you here? Kegboy's Avatar
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    Default Re: A question....

    One quick comment. Last year, even before things fell apart, is when Al really started hogging the ball. There'd be obvious, wide open pass out opportunities he'd neglect and instead keep the ball in 1-on-2 and even 1-on-3 situations, almost always with disastrous results. That's when my sister and I started calling him "the blackhole". I always found it funny that later people on here started calling him the same thing.

    That's my biggest problem with him. That, and he doesn't seem to defend as aggressively as he used to. Maybe his intensity just pales in comparison to Ronny, but defense isn't the priority it was before he got hurt. Still, I've almost never supported any of the million trade scenarios that have come up on here. He's a heck of a player, and if we trade him, I want Reggie's successor in return.
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  19. #19
    Administrator/ The Real Jay ChicagoJ's Avatar
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    Default Re: A question....

    -snip-That's when my sister and I started calling him "the blackhole". I always found it funny that later people on here started calling him the same thing.
    Are you sure you're not Jay's_Dad@Section222? I don't think he's that internet savvy but he's definitely been calling Al "the blackhole" since about the same time.
    Why do the things that we treasure most, slip away in time
    Till to the music we grow deaf, to God's beauty blind
    Why do the things that connect us slowly pull us apart?
    Till we fall away in our own darkness, a stranger to our own hearts
    And life itself, rushing over me
    Life itself, the wind in black elms,
    Life itself in your heart and in your eyes, I can't make it without you


  20. #20

    Default Re: A question....

    I haven't really seen many games this year to really give an accurate assessment of his game, but it seems as though he isn't playing comfortably. He is trying to go to the game's flow rather than his own flow. In the games that he played well, he took his time backing down the opponent on the baseline, and almost always hit the turnaround jumper. Now, he is forcing shots from other places onto the court, hurrying without playing smooth, slowed down basketball. Once he gets back to his own pace, then he will be playing great.
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  21. #21
    How are you here? Kegboy's Avatar
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    Default Re: A question....

    -snip-That's when my sister and I started calling him "the blackhole". I always found it funny that later people on here started calling him the same thing.
    Are you sure you're not Jay's_Dad@Section222? I don't think he's that internet savvy but he's definitely been calling Al "the blackhole" since about the same time.
    Well, I think it shows how bad he is at it, when a whole bunch of people separately start calling him that.
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  22. #22
    Oh What Could Have Been! fwpacerfan's Avatar
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    Default Re: A question....

    -snip-That's when my sister and I started calling him "the blackhole". I always found it funny that later people on here started calling him the same thing.
    Are you sure you're not Jay's_Dad@Section222? I don't think he's that internet savvy but he's definitely been calling Al "the blackhole" since about the same time.
    Well, I think it shows how bad he is at it, when a whole bunch of people separately start calling him that.
    I remember JO and Brad call Al that during an interview at the all star game last year. It was pretty funny and sad at the same time.
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  23. #23
    PD original FireTheCoach's Avatar
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    Default Re: A question....

    Al Harrington is a good athlete but not some basketball phenom as the majority of posters around here (and on the RATS board) wanted to believe.


    Hey.... I just call em like I see em.

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