Wake-up call: 'Coach' Harrington still not ready

Wake-up call: 'Coach' Harrington still not ready
December 6, 2013, 8:00 am
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Ever since Al Harrington has been out, the bench hasn't been the same for the Wizards. It doesn't appear that he's close to returning from a sore right knee just yet but the 33-year-old may have figured out his next career move. 

"I'm coaching my a** off. ... I'm coach Harrington and the player, like back in the day. It's crazy how like when you're playing compared to when you're really sitting and watching, you see the game in a different way. I can go and tell Eric (Maynor) to be more aggressive, tell John (Wall) to do this, tell Nene to do that. The good thing about it is those guys come and they reach out to me and ask for advice. Nene is like, 'Guys are guarding me this way, how can I get to the middle.' Usually, I have an answer for him.

"I want to stay in basketball when I'm done playing. This may be a cool little segue to see if I got it. I always said I'd never wanted to coach. These last couple of weeks just in my little role trying to help the guys out, I feel like I might be a possible good coach. We'll see. But right now, I'm a player. Focusing on playing. Hopefully, I'll get out there soon."

The Wizards host the Milwaukee Bucks at Verizon Center on Friday (CSN, 7 p.m. ET) and the Denver Nuggets on Monday (CSN, 7). They could sure use him as the reserves have found scoring difficult. Harrington was averaging 7.9 points in seven games and was beginning to heat up. He only had one three-pointer in the first three games but then made 11 of 21. 

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He only played 10 games last season with the Orlando Magic because of a staph infection in his right knee. The soreness is related to it. 

"Don't know exactly how I feel yet. I've got to get a chance to get out there and test it," said Harrington, who last played Nov. 12 and only has been able to run on a treadmill. "Hopefully, one day this week or maybe next week I can get out there and see what's going on. I'm trying to increase the strength in my leg and see how I feel pain-wise. 

"I don't want to keep playing, and sit, and play and sit. I want to figure this thing out so I can I can go full-steam ahead for the rest of the season."

The Wizards' starters have had to play too many minutes and have to be particularly careful with Nene, who has had issues with a sore right Achilles recently. Between now and next Friday, however, they only have three games. By then, they'll have a better idea on when Bradley Beal (right fibula) can return from his stress injury. If his absence longer term, it increases the need for Harrington. 

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