The arrival of Al Harrington to Sydney means fans no longer have to worry about where their side's scoring punch will come from, as they forge on without injured star Josh Childress. Harrington knows how to tally points folks, and at 6-foot-9, should have very little problem finding a clear sight to baskets around the NBL.
Yes, Harrington has some miles on his sneakers – 16 seasons in the NBA will see to that, whether you’re pouring in 40 points for the New York Knicks or just making quick as a bullet appearances for the Washington Wizards. He’s 35 and that means probably doesn’t have too much spring left, but that shouldn’t impact his contribution, which will lean on his all-around versatility. It's the type of repertoire that's featured big dunks, the sort you'd expect from a man his height, but also strong dribbling skills, which have seen him shake more than his share of defenders. The Kings should be hopeful that Harrington can at least bring this aspect of his game to Sydney, a club that's lacked the spark needed to overcome the likes of even mid-tier teams like Adelaide and Illawarra of late.
Childress had provided that offensive ignition in recent times, using his length, jump and general athleticism to his advantage, and in this regard, has really proven too much for most NBL defenders to handle. Harrington probably won’t be as lively, simply because he isn’t in that phase of his career. But he can still get around the floor, free himself up on the give-and-go, as seen in many of his highlights playing in China last season, muscle inside with delicate finishes around the basket, and can pass deftly off the dribble when the mood takes him.
This might just be the start of an exciting run for Sydney, if they can work Harrington’s varied arsenal into its current scheme, that is. On the attacking end, he'll have a ready hand outstretched and there won't be much opponents can do to discourage or stop him. Meanwhile, defence and rebounding haven't always been among Harrington's best attributes, but the Kings have other players to meet those needs, such as Julian Kazzouh, which makes the former NBA man's acquisition seem reasonably well-considered. Plus Harrington's size alone should help him fluster smaller NBL forwards and also nab his share of boards, which will surely be a bonus when you consider the type of offensive range he brings to the NBL.