Al Harrington is finally a Pacer after what seemed like a full season worth of rumor and speculation.
Loyal Nothing But Nylon reader A-Wam questions why people care:
Thank you to the Indiana Pacers and Atlanta Hawks for finally ending what has been the most overblown, unsurprising, uncomplicated player acquisition in the NBA this summer.
The Pacers brought tweener forward Al Harrington back to Indiana in exchange for a future first round draft pick.
Don’t get me wrong, I understand why the Hawks wanted to take their time and get the best offer after throwing out the idea that you could field a competitive NBA team with five small forwards.
Furthermore, I don’t blame Harrington for never wanting to take another dribble wearing a Hawks uniform in the apathetic pro sports town that is Atlanta. But forgive me for not getting excited about this recent blockbuster.
In theory, Hawks GM Billy Knight probably felt now was the time to pull the trigger based on the fact the Atlanta Braves are about to miss their first division title in over a decade, the Falcons traded T.J. Duckett, and oh by the way, the pride of Georgia—college football season is just around the corner with the Yellow Jackets taking on second-ranked Notre Dame on opening weekend.
The Harrington trade to Indiana is similar to the plotline of Snakes on the Plane. (For the record, this writer decided to include it in his list of 15 summer movies, regrettably, unlucky No. 13).
Any reasonable person who was allowed to get into the R-rated film knew that snakes mysteriously got onto the plane, would attack and kill some of the passengers, but somehow, someway, Samuel L. Jackson would find a way to save the day and walk away from the situation as cool as he did as Jules in Pulp Fiction.
The same can be said about this trade. Indiana knew that Atlanta had limited options, and without a marquee player on their roster that would fit the Hawks’ needs, a first-round pick was a decent compromise. The proposed four-team blockbuster talked about Monday was as real as the marketing play that allowed you to get a phone call from Jackson demanding you go see his Oscar-worth film.
Giving up that 2007 first round pick may be prove to be Indiana’s worst move yet and despite the acquisition of Harrington, this team will have an even tougher time making the playoffs than they did last year in a division that sent all five teams to the postseason.
Quite frankly, the way the NBA’s Central Divison is shaping up, I think I may have rather been on that plane with Jackson than a fan, player, coach or front office executive of the Indiana Pacers.
The Hawks are some franchise. Where is Steve Belkin when you need him? What? He's there. Oh. Way to get a first round pick for your second best player. That'll help turn things around.