Monday , Nov , 03 , 2008 Oly Sandor

Weekly NBA Losers: Golden State’s Al Harrington has superstar delusions, Sacramento Kings can’t afford 0-3 start, Portland’s Greg Oden unlucky or injury prone?

Recently, the forward asked Golden State for a trade, citing a lack of playing time in Coach Don Nelson’s system. Typically, in these instances, the coach publicly downplays the player’s request and emphasizes his importance to the organization. Nelson did the opposite. The Hall of Fame sideline boss agreed that a change was best for Harrington and the team, claiming the ten-year pro has an inflated sense of his own abilities …

Weekly NBA Losers: Golden State's Al Harrington has superstar delusions, Sacramento Kings can't afford 0-3 start, Portland's Greg Oden unlucky or injury prone?Every Sunday, HoopsVibe The Blog will review the NBA’s biggest winners and losers of the past seven days.

The Losers …

Loser #1: Al Harrington

I think Al Harrington is suffering from superstar delusion. This common disease makes a good NBA player believe he is great. Last known case: Chicago’s Ben Gordon.

Recently, the forward asked Golden State for a trade, citing a lack of playing time in Coach Don Nelson’s system. Typically, in these instances, the coach publicly downplays the player’s request and emphasizes his importance to the organization.

Nelson did the opposite. The Hall of Fame sideline boss agreed that a change was best for Harrington and the team, claiming the ten-year pro has an inflated sense of his own abilities.

"He thinks he’s a superstar. I think he’s a very good player. If he wants to be traded, we’ll try to accommodate him," Nelson said after Golden State beat New Jersey. (ESPN) 

I like Harrington. Just as my sixth man or second-unit anchor, not as a first option or blending star. His defense and rebounding is suspect. Of course, money is at the heart of this dispute. Harrington wants to be moved, so he can get minutes and showcase his talents for his next contract (his current deal expires in July 2010).

Fair enough. The NBA is a business. Like every business, professionals talk. I believe GMs and coaches will note that Harrington struggled in his return to Indiana and most recently with Golden State. Based on his play, a big money contract in two years is unlikely. And coming down with superstar delusion won’t help.

Loser #2: Sacramento Kings

I was expecting a step forward. After all, Reggie Theus’ young nucleus was older and the Ron Artest distraction was gone.

It’s early, but the Kings could be in tough. Real tough. They currently sit at 0-3; and their play has been disappointing. After dropping a close game to Minnesota, Sacramento got trounced by Miami and Orlando.

Falling out of the playoff race will hurt at the gate. The Kings, more than most teams, rely on ticket sales as a source of revenue. A poor start will take its toll on an already declining fan base.

Not long ago, I remember a very different atmosphere in California’s capital. The Maloof ownership group was the talk of the NBA, building a competitive and entertaining team. And Arco Arena was always full.

Unfortunately, this happened. And the Kings have never recovered from Big Shot Bob.

Loser #3: Greg Oden

He is either unlucky or injury prone. Greg Oden, the Portland Trail Blazers’ first overall pick in the 2007 NBA draft, is again hurt. After sitting all of last year with a microfracture tear, he sprained his foot in the season opener versus Los Angeles and will miss 2-4 weeks.

Hopefully, this is a temporary case of Oden opening too many umbrellas inside. ‘Rip City’ needs him healthy, anchoring the paint, and rebounding to have any chance at the playoffs.

Agree or disagree with this week’s losers. Is there another NBA player, coach, executive, or team who had a rough week? Get at us in the comment box and come back to HoopsVibe NBA Blog for this week’s winners. Photo courtesy of calmenda.