For a guy who wants to be traded, Warriors forward Al Harrington sure sounded surprised about wanting to be traded.
Contacted by 48minutes.net Tuesday afternoon, Harrington and Don Nelson both denied the hours-old report from Tim Kawakami
that the 10th-year forward has asked to be shipped to another destination, no longer willing to play for the NBA’s second-winningest coach.
“I haven’t said that to anybody,” Harrington said. “I’m being honest with you.”
“Not that I know of,” Nelson said. “I had a meeting with him yesterday, and it didn’t come up.”
Such a story would have been singularly unsurprising last season, when Harrington openly chafed at his role in Nelson’s system and the coach did little to spare the veteran’s ego, saying he’d make a better sixth man than a starter despite having scored 17.0 points per game for Golden State the previous half-season.
To have the report — attributed to NBA sources close to Harrington — come out now, after the two have gone to some lengths over the summer to patch up their relationship and come to an understanding, seems a little odd.
That’s not to say that Harrington and Nelson are now the best of friends. It’s also not to say that Harrington might not make a trade request later on in the season, if he’s back to playing less than 30 minutes a game and forced to patrol the 3-point line on offense.
But when the Warriors line up against the Hornets on Wednesday, expect Harrington to be in the starting lineup.
“Everything starts tomorrow,” Harrington said. “Training camp went perfect. Coach told me I’m one of his guys, he’s gonna play me as much as I want.”