Forward Al Harrington, the 1998 first-round pick of the Indiana Pacers, retired Wednesday.
"I'm very happy with what I was able to accomplish," Harrington told the Denver Post after helping during a Nuggets practice. "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, who jumped from St. Patrick High School in Elizabeth, New Jersey, straight to the NBA, averaged 13.5 points and 5.6 rebounds in a 16-year career that included stops with seven teams, including two stints with the Pacers (1998 to 2004 and part of the 2006-07 season), Hawks, Warriors, Knicks, Nuggets, Magic and Wizards. With lingering knee issues, he signed with the Fujian Sturgeons of the Chinese Basketball Association in August before returning to the States to pursue a potential NBA comeback.
When Nuggets coach Brian Shaw was fired and Melvin Hunt was named interim coach earlier this month, a text-message exchange led Harrington to a spot on the Nuggets' sideline, where he will help for the rest of the season.