Al Harrington was a force for Golden State after joining the team midway through the 2006-07 season. The 6’9”, 245-pound forward averaged 17 ppg, helping the Warriors reach the second round of the playoffs and shock the Dallas Mavericks along the way. The 11-year NBA vet and current New York Knick recently sat down with STACK to talk about the importance of being prepared and working hard.
STACK: When did you learn the importance of working hard to get ready for the season?
Harrington: My work ethic developed when I was very young. The only way you are going to be good at something is if you are very prepared; that understanding came long before I made it to the NBA. Two of my biggest weapons are my go-getter attitude and the fact that I always want to be the best at what I do.
STACK: How much of your off-season improvements result from training around and competing against other NBA players at Athletes’ Performance?
Harrington: I think it has a lot to do with it. But at the same time, we all got to the NBA without that type of competition. I think it depends on what type of person you are—how dedicated you are to attaining the goals you have set out for your life.
STACK: When did you realize you had a special ability in the game of basketball?
Harrington: Around my junior year in high school. [I starting playing] basketball a little late and developed late, so it didn’t hit me until then. That’s when I finally starting feeling like I had a chance to go to a major Division I college, then possibly to the NBA after that. I ended up having to turn down all the college coaches [since] I went straight to the NBA.
STACK: Did anyone ever doubt your ability or tell you to do something else with your life?
Harrington: No, never.
STACK: What’s the best advice you ever got?
Harrington: The biggest thing was just watching how [my mom] lived her life—how she raised us all with her hard work and how she kept our family together.