After 16 years in the NBA, Al Harrington has officially retired from basketball, as he revealed to Christopher Dempsey of the Denver Post this afternoon. The 35-year-old big man signed a deal last August to play in China, where he was putting up monster numbers before he returned stateside amid NBA interest, including reported consideration by the Rockets. However, Harrington told Dempsey that none of the opportunities in the US appealed to him, and he now feels the timing is right to leave his playing days behind.
“I’m very happy with what I was able to accomplish,” Harrington said. “I was able to change a lot of people’s lives in my family, including myself in a game that I eventually fell in love with and will always be in love with. And hopefully I can stay around the game until I die. It was a fun ride. It went by fast, too. It was like one minute I was 18, the next I was 25 then was 30 and now I’m 35. It was a fun run. Met a lot of great people.”
Harrington was selected straight out of high school with the 25th pick of the 1998 draft. He played for seven different teams in his career, most recently donning a Wizards jersey during the 2013/14 campaign. While he never made an All-Star appearance, Harrington averaged a respectable 13.5 points per contest over 981 games played. His best year came when he posted impressive nightly marks of 20.1 points and 6.2 rebounds for the Knicks in 2008/09.
Although his playing days are over, Harrington still has interest in either coaching or working in a front office, relays Dempsey, who adds that Harrington will assist the Nuggets coaching staff for the rest of the season and help the club prepare for the draft this June. Harrington accumulated $85,514,819 in salary over the course of his career, according to his player page on Basketball-Reference.com.