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Thread: Article about David Harrison...

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    Default Article about David Harrison...

    http://www.sbnation.com/nba/2012/7/1...vericks-pacers


    By Scott Schroeder



    Jul 17, 2012 - LAS VEGAS -- David Harrison is playing for the Dallas Mavericks' Summer League team in Vegas and, while he was far from a superstar during his four-year NBA career, it seems many of those in attendance remember quite vividly the career he had with the Indiana Pacers.

    Unfortunately, the majority remembers him for all of the wrong reasons.

    The 7-foot center out of Colorado, who turns 30 in August, looks like an NBA player due to his blend of skills, size and considerable talents in the low post. That's a combination very few players possess outside of the NBA, but one that Harrison currently finds himself in, while averaging a rather pedestrian 16 minutes, six points (6-of-8 from the field), five fouls and three rebounds through his current team's first two games in Vegas.

    Nevertheless, and despite numerous setbacks, the big man is hoping this most recent comeback works out after biding his time in China and the D-League ever since his NBA departure.

    "I have to take a different route back because my way out of the NBA was a little more dramatic than most," Harrison told SBNation.com on Monday. "For me, it's just consistency according to Coach [Rick] Carlisle. I'm coming in, doing my work and showing that I still have the ability to play at this level. Now I'm just hoping there's a team out there that will forgive and forget."

    The forgiving portion of that request is probably possible, but figuring out how to forget about the reasons for which Harrison's currently out of the NBA is going to be the hard part.

    "I was present for the brawl [better known as the Malice at the Palace], the shootings, suspended for drugs and eventually kicked out of the league," Harrison says. "Man, I've been through everything and luckily I'm still here and just am being given another opportunity."

    He's right about that, too, as very few players who averaged five points per outing over the course of 189 career games are given a second chance four years later. It's even rarer considering the past transgressions -- that seem to be part 'wrong place, wrong time' and part 'bad decisions' -- and the fact the he decided to speak quite freely about his problem with marijuana usage at the time of his five-game drug suspension.

    "I went to a really liberal school with a lot of ideals and I guess I just had a belief ... and it was wrong," Harrison said. "A lot of things I acted like a child about. I kept saying 'they, they, they' instead of looking internally. Now it's like I look back on my life where I could be and I'm not remorseful or regretful. I'm just ready to move forward and I guess I just wish it was that easy."

    "It's not," Harrison warns. "People don't trust you, people are going to always think negative things about you so you just have to try to stay positive and move on with your life. Now that I look back on it -- as I read about my life on the Internet, as I see people shocked to see me alive and other things like that -- it's like nobody ever really knew me."

    In fact, it seems that very few people have really gotten to know Harrison, but those that have find him to be an affable, interesting, well-spoken dude who just happens to play basketball. Current Dallas Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle sees that in him, too, and apparently values his basketball talent more than the off-court incidents.

    "When I was there with Coach Carlisle, every day he would teach me how to play the game," Harrison said. "He taught me how to watch film. I love the game of basketball, but after he left, coach [Jim] O'Brien and I really didn't get along.
    "Rick Carlisle, though, he's been one of the best people for me. Even when I wasn't playing for him a couple of seasons ago, he pulled me aside and after a game and gave me up a pep talk so I know he's always wanted me to do well," Harrison said. "I really wish I could have stayed with him longer because I know my career would have developed better. My development's on me, though, so that's nobody else's fault."

    Speaking of development, Harrison ended up playing for the Reno Bighorns of the NBA Development League to end this past season, where he'd meet up with another coach -- longtime NBA big man Paul Mokeski. That has helped him out as he attempts to reform his image.

    "Everybody knows I'm such an extrovert and I can speak so well, but I'm really sheltered. ... I don't like being out there, but I like being around people I know," Harrison said. "In the D-League, it was a bunch of players I knew and Coach Mokeski. He's been in trouble and he's mentored me for awhile about how to keep my head up and keep moving forward and just stay away from the negative, so it was nice to play there. I met people I needed to meet there and if I have to go back, I'll go back."

    The NBA is obviously the goal for the former Indiana Pacers big man, however, and he's taking a realistic approach of getting there.

    "I'm sick of everybody asking me what team I play for because I don't have an answer. Hopefully one day the timing will work out, a spot will open up and I'll be able to play in the league again ... but I don't want to future trip," Harrison said. "I got a game on Wednesday and there I just gotta keep a focus on keeping my demeanor and trying to be a leader and helping us win games. I've been around too long to get in trouble by looking too far ahead."

    It's interesting that Harrison noted that he needs to keep his demeanor and be a leader because, according to multiple people evaluating the talent out in Vegas, those are his two biggest issues. And, luckily for him, they're issues he's aware of and trying to fix -- especially the on-court demeanor, as Mavericks blogger Rob Mahoney pointed that it's a huge problem during his recap of Monday's game.

    David Harrison certainly has the potential to be a nice player, but is distractingly emotive to both himself and observers. He reacts demonstratively to virtually every call that goes against him or the team, occasionally to the point where his teammates are forced to counsel him on-court. That's not necessarily a problem beyond remedy, but it's a turnoff in a competitive business with so many comparable talents.

    Harrison responds to that criticism with an honest, self-aware approach that seems pretty understandable when looking at it from an outsider's perspective.

    "I've never ever had a good time playing basketball when it comes to being between me and the officials," Harrison said. "I'm the biggest person out there so even when I get hit in the face or get tripped and it's not a foul, but when a guy falls down, it's a foul on me. It always feels like I'm being picked on, but I know I can't take that approach."

    "There's sometimes, you know, when it's just like 'what are you calling!?'" Harrison continued. "But I have to remember that I'm not in the position to do that and if I'm in there for two or three minutes and get a technical? That's terrible. So I just shut my mouth and maybe it comes out in my facial expressions, but it's something I've gotta do."

    The other portion he's working on is becoming a leader because, now that he's nearly 30 and with plenty of life experience, he has a lot to offer younger players who likely won't face anything close to the sort of issues Harrison has thus far in his basketball career.

    "It's weird because everybody remembers me for some reason," Harrison said. "They also ask me and I say 'y'all can do what you want, but this is what's going to happen.'"

    It sounds like that phase began this season in the D-League, too, as he joined the team while rookie Josh Selby was on assignment from the Memphis Grizzlies.

    "While I was out in Reno I was playing with friends because I knew Andre Emmett, Antoine Wright and Josh Selby," Harrison said before going into his scouting report on the Memphis Grizzlies' young guard.

    "That little boy is really good and I hope he gets a chance to show it one day," Harrison said. "He's like a one and a two. He's very talented and very intelligent. People go at him about some of his past issues and he takes it like a man. Where I personally would've tried to fight someone, he acts like a grown-up ... and I'm pretty proud of him for that."

    Harrison probably wishes he could've acted like that during his NBA exit, but at least he seems to have learned from that mistake.

    "It's all about the way I handled it," Harrison realizes. "I attacked. I didn't take any blame. I didn't act like an adult. It was just a bunch of things and I didn't have enough guidance to get me out of it. Every day -- every day -- since then I've just been fighting an uphill battle that I can't give up."

    Whether or not Harrison makes it back to the promised land remains to be seen, but there's no doubt he's in a better place mentally now than he was the last time he found himself on an NBA roster
    .................................................. .................................................. ................................

    A couple of things came to mind when reading this.

    1. Actions speak louder than words and from what I read it seems like the same old same old.

    2. This may be the one time I don't give O'Brien grief from a former player complaining about him. Although once again it is just so very odd that players so openly complain about him.

    I am not sure who I consider to be the biggest dissapointment of the three. Tinsley, Bender & Harrison all had potential and real talent yet none of them ever delivered on it (please spare me the Bender was injured speech, I've heard it before & all I can say is that while he had injuries that wasn't what held him back)


    Basketball isn't played with computers, spreadsheets, and simulations. ChicagoJ 4/21/13

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    Default Re: Article about David Harrison...

    I like David. As a guy more than a player, but i do like David. But I thought kinda the same thing as your first point. He says the word that he was wrong, but they sound like just words. He sounds like the 16-yr old kid that dented the family car. Yes, it's my fault, but . . . and but . . . and then . . . Since I really didn't mean to do wrong, somehow it's not really my fault.

    I liked Jamaal and Bender. And disagree with you about them.

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    Default Re: Article about David Harrison...

    Quote Originally Posted by Peck View Post
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    (please spare me the Bender was injured speech, I've heard it before & all I can say is that while he had injuries that wasn't what held him back)


    Yep, guy averged 32 games over his career, but injuries weren't the problem.
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    Default Re: Article about David Harrison...

    Quote Originally Posted by Kegboy View Post
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    Yep, guy averged 32 games over his career, but injuries weren't the problem.
    Nope, not all of them.


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    Default Re: Article about David Harrison...

    Quote Originally Posted by Peck View Post
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    (please spare me the Bender was injured speech, I've heard it before & all I can say is that while he had injuries that wasn't what held him back)
    Alright, so what was it. i've heard this on a few occasions and no one has ever cared to elaborate on that theory, so what was this mysterious behind-the-scenes character flaw of Bender that seems to have trumped his considerable physical ailments? People can't post stuff like this and then not explain it. I'm all ears.
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    Default Re: Article about David Harrison...

    As for DH, he still sounds like he doesn't have his head on straight, as was always the case. He may have experienced a lot, but doesn't seem the wiser, still feels people view him incorrectly without actually making an effort to change that perception, which was mostly rightly-earned to begin with.

    He was never as talented as Bender or Tinsley, but he could've had a decent NBA career had he taken it seriously. Sounds like Carlisle is the only reason he's getting this 2nd chance.
    Last edited by Kid Minneapolis; 07-17-2012 at 12:03 PM.
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    Default Re: Article about David Harrison...

    It's interesting that he's still needing to be counseled by teammates about his reactions on the court. That certainly doesn't show me that he's changed all that much. I'd like to think he's learned his lessons, but like you said, Peck, actions will speak louder than words. If I had to put a number on his chances, on a scale of 1 to 10....I'd say 2.

    Oh, and put me down as one whose interest is piqued about the behind the scenes goings on with Mr. Bender. A little sumpin' sumpin'???

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    Default Re: Article about David Harrison...

    Here is the open honest truth about Bender and understand this is my opinion & I will freely admit I could be wrong.

    Bender loves basketball. Bender hates organized basketball.

    I am always struck by the time in the summer league when the Utah announcers were saying they have never seen a player more disinterested in being there than the time Bender was there and then that very night left the team because his "knee's were hurting" so the Pacers excused him from the rest of summer league play. Only for the very next night for him to be in Houston for a celebrity full court basketball game where we have seen highlights of his full length of the court running one handed reverse dunk (probably could have won the dunk contest with that one).

    That's just one story.

    Now I am not now nor have I ever said he didn't have injuries. I'm saying his willingness to play through them was in question and more to the point the willingness to play organized (read practice) was really in question. Did he have worse knee's than Al Harrington who physically blew out his knee yet has gone on to a very long NBA career? Hasn't Blair in San Antonio already played almost as much as Bender did with yet an even worse problem?

    We were told it was bone on bone yet somehow a few years later he somehow magically improved enough to give it a go with the Knicks yet couldn't play much for them because of his wrist (not knee).

    He did have his contract medically retired so there is that, but as any good attorney will tell you it is almost impossible to disprove pain and pain level.

    Now again those are just my opinions on the matter, you may differ and that is fine. I'm not going to change your mind and believe me in this case your not going to change mine.

    Other topics involving him I cannot and will not discuss due to confidence.


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    Default Re: Article about David Harrison...

    This is about toughness.

    David Harrison had all the physical tools, and none of the mental tools. He was more interested in pursuing his recreational drug of choice than in having the discipline required to capitalize on his talents. This isn't meant to be political commentary. He wasn't mentally tough enough to pursue both the high he was chasing and a successful NBA career. Doesn't matter whether his drug of choice was legal or illegal, he's the poster child for what happens when pursuing the substance interferes with the rest of his life. Many of you will quickly point out that is not his drug's fault. And you're probably right, according to current pop-culture science on this topic. He just was not mentally strong enough to pursue both. Are there some people that can be high-performers while pursuing their recreational drug of choice? Anecdotally, that answer is yes. He wasn't one of them.

    And mental weakness is the common theme among the players Peck mentioned. They had other circumstances as well, but they weren't mentally tough enough to overcome them.

    What the Pacers have shown me in the past decade is how little raw talent actually matters. Mental toughness is the key. That is what kept Bender, Harrison and Tinsley from reaching their potential. Jermaine was probably above-average in mental toughness, but relative to his talent/ skills that was also quite a let down and why he never lived up to the contract that was based on his talent more than his toughness. Having more mental toughness than skills has kept Stephen Jackson in the league far longer than his low shooting percentage and high turnover rate might otherwise suggest.

    Our "favorite" Pacers teams weren't the most talented teams of all time, but Jackson, Reggie, Travis, Mullin, Jalen, Derrick, Dale, Tony, Croshere and Smits were a mentally tough bunch of guys and that's why they were in the ECF's five times in seven years. Not enough talent to win the championship, but mentally tough enough to always be in contention.

    This year's Pacers teams, with improved leadership from Hill and West, starting showing some of the mental toughness that completely lacked the previous year against Chicago, where the Pacers were the more-talented team right until it was time to be mentally tough. They've still got strides to make, as Miami is now a dangerous combination of a talented AND mentally tough team.

    These are some of the most disappointing players in NBA history. From 1999 through 2004, we really butchered the draft. In order, that's 1999 - Bender, Foster, 2000 - Brezec, 2001 - Tinsley, 2002 - Jones, 2003 - (no pick from the Tinsley trade) and 2004 - Harrison. Yuck. The three players with the best career success over that period were probably Foster, Brezec and Fred Jones -- three career backups. That's terrible.
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    Default Re: Article about David Harrison...

    I agree with you about Harrison but not about Tinsley and Bender. Tinsley made mistakes off of the floor but he was a fine PG, better than anything we have had since he left. Bender's problem we injuries. That kept him out of lineup and practice and did not allow him to develop. I'm pretty sure he played less than 40 games per year......

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    Default Re: Article about David Harrison...

    I'm happy that Harrison is given a second chance

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    Default Re: Article about David Harrison...

    Quote Originally Posted by ChicagoJ View Post
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    What the Pacers have shown me in the past decade is how little raw talent actually matters. Mental toughness is the key.
    I'm thanking you for this part.

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    Default Re: Article about David Harrison...

    Quote Originally Posted by Peck View Post
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    Other topics involving him I cannot and will not discuss due to confidence.
    I'm under no obligation so maybe this helps. Bender was a party boy and if not for things being kept quiet on his behalf maybe he and David Harrison could of got together to do buddy stoner movies. Jon had buddies that would have made Shawne Williams proud.
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    Default Re: Article about David Harrison...

    I remember Bender leaving the summer league but don't remember the part about the celebrity game the following night. I don't doubt it though. I'm definitely willing to give Peck the benefit of the doubt.

    Bender was a greater disappointment because I never thought that Tinsley or David Harrison were going to be that good in the first place. Bender had the talent to be what Kevin Durant is now but couldn't put it all together. Maybe he had problems picking up the plays on offense but he was a decent defender. I still think that injuries more than lack of work ethic derailed his career. I was there at the game against Sacramento when he scored 16 points in the first half before tearing his calf muscle. He was finally starting to get his game together it seems and he was never the same after that injury.

    Don't get me wrong, I was never really a Bender fan but I wanted him to succeed because the Pacers really needed a player like him to step up and solidify the SF position. Once we got Artest, I really couldn't care less whether he would pan out and was upset that the Pacers signed him to that 6 million dollar a year contract extension that basically made it impossible (in TPTB opinion) to re-sign Brad Miller. I'm still bitter about that to this day.

    Back on topic... David Harrison is a scrub basketball player and I doubt he lands another spot on an NBA team because of his lack of talent and poor rebounding more than his past.

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    Default Re: Article about David Harrison...

    Quote Originally Posted by ChicagoJ View Post
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    And mental weakness is the common theme among the players Peck mentioned. They had other circumstances as well, but they weren't mentally tough enough to overcome them.
    Precisely why I'm glad we ended up with Hill rather than Mayo.

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    Default Re: Article about David Harrison...

    I remember when we drafted David Harrison. He fell to us so we took him. I don't think we had worked him out. I think the Pacers learned a bit from that experience. Oh, and he was known for having short arms. Not the ideal build for a big man.

    Who remembers his appearance on MTVs The Real World? An ex Colorado football player was on the cast. He told his roommates that his best friend David was coming to visit for the weekend. Who shows up? David Harrison. The football player explains that David just wants to spend the weekend getting wasted. So they do.

    And as to the gratuitous shots at Jon Bender. Maybe the new site should be PacersGossip.com

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    Default Re: Article about David Harrison...

    Quote Originally Posted by Kid Minneapolis View Post
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    Alright, so what was it. i've heard this on a few occasions and no one has ever cared to elaborate on that theory, so what was this mysterious behind-the-scenes character flaw of Bender that seems to have trumped his considerable physical ailments? People can't post stuff like this and then not explain it. I'm all ears.
    I think Scott Pollard gave his own one-word description of Bender. It starts with a P and ends with Y.
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    “People talk about how quiet he [McKey] is, but he’s really been helpful. He gives a lot of insight to players in how to guard certain teams and what their weaknesses are. The whole team listens to him, and it makes my job a lot easier. Having players like him is what pro basketball is all about for me.” —Larry Brown

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    Default Re: Article about David Harrison...

    I said at the time and still believe that Harrison had a screw loose - he wasn't all there. He had some issues to say the least.

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    Default Re: Article about David Harrison...

    Quote Originally Posted by McKeyFan View Post
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    I think Scott Pollard gave his own one-word description of Bender. It starts with a P and ends with Y.
    Party?
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    Default Re: Article about David Harrison...

    Do any old timers remember this thread? I tried to find the article but I couldn't. There are some gems in here about Harrison, including this:

    During a recent summer league basketball game, after a questionable call from an aspiring NBA official, he calmly asked the ref what he was doing after the league ended. The man voiced his question of why Harrison wanted to know. Harrison informed him that he was in need of someone to cut his grass and do some gardening at his residence in Indianapolis and after making calls like the one the he had just made, he would be in need of employment. Harrison was quickly whistled for a technical foul.

    http://www.pacersdigest.com/showthre...david+harrison
    Last edited by fwpacerfan; 07-17-2012 at 03:47 PM.
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    Default Re: Article about David Harrison...

    Thanx for this. almost spit out my gum, laughing. Gotta love the clever comebacks, much better than ref call kind of things most players say.

    Quote Originally Posted by fwpacerfan View Post
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    Do any old timers remember this thread? I tried to find the article but I couldn't. There are some gems in here about Harrison, including this:

    During a recent summer league basketball game, after a questionable call from an aspiring NBA official, he calmly asked the ref what he was doing after the league ended. The man voiced his question of why Harrison wanted to know. Harrison informed him that he was in need of someone to cut his grass and do some gardening at his residence in Indianapolis and after making calls like the one the he had just made, he would be in need of employment. Harrison was quickly whistled for a technical foul.

    http://www.pacersdigest.com/showthre...david+harrison

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    Default Re: Article about David Harrison...

    Quote Originally Posted by fwpacerfan View Post
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    Do any old timers remember this thread? I tried to find the article but I couldn't. There are some gems in here about Harrison, including this:

    During a recent summer league basketball game, after a questionable call from an aspiring NBA official, he calmly asked the ref what he was doing after the league ended. The man voiced his question of why Harrison wanted to know. Harrison informed him that he was in need of someone to cut his grass and do some gardening at his residence in Indianapolis and after making calls like the one the he had just made, he would be in need of employment. Harrison was quickly whistled for a technical foul.

    http://www.pacersdigest.com/showthre...david+harrison
    Sounds like the pinnacle of his career to me.
    Last edited by McKeyFan; 07-17-2012 at 04:02 PM.
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    “People talk about how quiet he [McKey] is, but he’s really been helpful. He gives a lot of insight to players in how to guard certain teams and what their weaknesses are. The whole team listens to him, and it makes my job a lot easier. Having players like him is what pro basketball is all about for me.” —Larry Brown

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    Default Re: Article about David Harrison...

    Quote Originally Posted by RWB View Post
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    I'm under no obligation so maybe this helps. Bender was a party boy and if not for things being kept quiet on his behalf maybe he and David Harrison could of got together to do buddy stoner movies. Jon had buddies that would have made Shawne Williams proud.
    Also, Bender had terrible bball IQ. Maybe not the biggest cause of his demise, but definitely a contributor.
    .

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    “People talk about how quiet he [McKey] is, but he’s really been helpful. He gives a lot of insight to players in how to guard certain teams and what their weaknesses are. The whole team listens to him, and it makes my job a lot easier. Having players like him is what pro basketball is all about for me.” —Larry Brown

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    Yeah, I'm a Pacers fan. MyFavMartin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Article about David Harrison...

    Everybody likes to cheer for the underdog and hope that a guy makes the most out of his chances, but for every Roy Hibbert, Danny Granger, Gerald Green, there's got to be 10 players like Jamison Brewer, James White, and the above that make you say "If I had those physical assets... Gosh dern... What a waste."

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    Default Re: Article about David Harrison...

    It's hard for me to believe that David Harrison is already 30, sheesh seems like he was our first round pick not too long ago.

    Besides the fact that you can't teach size and he possessed soft touch around the rim, everything else wasn't very good. He had short arms, bad conditioning, and a quick temper.

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