Just six days after the Denver Nuggets lost in the first round of the playoffs last season, Al Harrington laid in a Denver hospital bed with an IV running to his heart, and his knee swelling by the minute.
All season long, Harrington had been described as the key to Denvers success by head coach George Karl.
On the court, the 13-year veteran provided the Nuggets with the wisdom and poise while averaging 27 minutes, 14 points and six rebounds per game.
Off the court, he was a great locker room guy. Funny and charismatic, Harrington known by friends in the NBA as CheddaCheese because of his smooth personality and smile was always willing to offer advice and support.
At 32 years old, Harrington believed he had a few more years of solid basketball left in him. Questions of retirement never even entered his mind.
But as he laid in that hospital bed, six days after scoring 24 points against the Los Angeles Lakers, the power forward was unsure if he would ever reach another year as...