In the summer of 2010, the Denver Nuggets signed Al Harrington to a five-year, $34 million contract. Looking back at the Carmelo Anthony Era, it was one of the more notable free agent signings for the team. Harrington spent just two seasons in Denver (2010-11 and 2011-12), before being traded to the Orlando Magic, along with Arron Afflalo and a first-round pick, for Andre Iguodala in a three team trade also involving the Philadelphia 76ers.
Harrington announced his retirement today, according to Chris Dempsey of the Denver Post.
"I'm officially retired," Harrington said. "I don't know if there's paperwork that I gotta fill out or anything. But my career is over."
Harrington averaged 10.5 points and 4.5 rebounds for the Nuggets in the 2010-11 campaign, and raised those totals to 14.2 and 6.1 rebounds the following season with the team. But what Harrington really brought to the Nuggets was a locker room presence, though his veteran leadership. There's no question that I've been champing at the bit to meet Harrington and get to talk hoops with him.
If you've been paying attention to Nuggets games recently, you may have noticed Big Al Buckets on the Nuggets bench - in what Chris Marlowe is calling an Advisor role under Melvin Hunt.
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p><a href="https://twitter.com/NateTimmonsCO">@NateTimmonsCO</a> according to Coach Hunt Al Harrington is a "special advisor" <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Nuggets?src=hash">#Nuggets</a></p>— Chris Marlowe (@ChrisMarlowe) <a href="https://twitter.com/ChrisMarlowe/status/577233452950384640">March 15, 2015</a></blockquote>
<script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>
Yet another impressive move from Hunt, getting a guy like Harrington to come in and help out is exactly what these Nuggets need. Just a great move for all parties, and another reason why the Nuggets should seriously think about removing the word "interim" from their new head coach's title.
Some fun Harrington moments:
How about this dance after a three he made in New York while with the Nuggets:
Or this one from the time Harrington came to Denver and put up 41 points as a member of the Knicks:
Or when Harrington showed off his knockout power on a comedian in the Octagon:
And one can't forget that Harrington was part of a Warriors team that was just the second ever (the 1994 Nuggets being the first) eighth seed to knock off a number one seed - the first in a seven game series:
One heck of a career from Harrington that started back in 1998-99. We'll miss seeing him lace 'em up, but we're lucky to have him helping out with our Nuggets in Denver.