Five questions for Al Harrington
Former Pacers forward Al Harrington asked to be traded after the 2003-04 season and got his wish. But he wasn't counting on getting sent to Atlanta, where he's stuck with one of the NBA's worst teams. Harrington, who's averaging 17.1 points and 8.4 rebounds, becomes a free agent after this season.
Question: How do you cope with losing so many games after never having a losing season with the Pacers?
You can't get used to it. You take it home every day. It stresses you out. It makes your whole body hurt. It's crazy.
Q: What have you learned from this experience?
I've learned how to be a leader. It's one thing to be on a winning team and say you're a leader. It's different with this team. I have to give these guys confidence and let them know it won't always be like this. And every night we have a chance to win.
Q: Do you regret asking the Pacers for a trade?
No, this is going to make me better in a lot of ways. Obviously when I asked to be traded I didn't think I was coming to Atlanta. But things happen for a reason. I have to continue to work and we'll get out of this thing eventually.
Q: You'll be a free agent after this season and could have a lot of options. Are you looking forward to that?
I'll have a lot of options. But I like Atlanta. I feel it's the type of situation if we turn it around everybody will fall in love with us. I see the reception the (NFL) Falcons get. Once you start winning, it's unbelievable. We can take over the city.
Q: Did you ever look at the Pacers last season after the brawl and think about how you could have been starting for them instead of Atlanta after Ron Artest's suspension?
Sometimes. But I thought if I had been on that team, there wouldn't have been a brawl. They were blowing them out and Ron would have been out of the game if I was there.
-- Mark Montieth