Former NBA phenom Al Harrington joins us and shares the valuable lessons learned from his pre-pro coaches. He discusses his career in the NBA, what he learned from the veterans when he got there and what he learned from the former commissioner when he left. Al also of course shares what led to his foray into the cannabis economy and why exactly one of his company’s is named after his grandmother.
Seth Adler: - I mean, but shouldn't we be in New Jersey or something?
Al Harrington: I mean, no, not this time of year. I'd much prefer California.
Seth Adler: To New Jersey, fair enough. It is raining though. What the -
Al Harrington: I know. You brought this with you.
Seth Adler: I did.
Al Harrington: You gotta go.
Seth Adler: I apologize.
Al Harrington: You got to go.
Seth Adler: This is me apologizing to you, Al Harrington. But you're from New Jersey though.
Al Harrington: Yep, born and raised.
Seth Adler: Like real New Jersey.
Al Harrington: Yeah, yeah, Orange, New Jersey. Tremont Avenue, Skylands Road. That's where I'm from.
Seth Adler: There we go. So, what were you - how old could you have been when you picked up the basketball?
Al Harrington: Man, you know what? I always tried to pick it up growing up, but believe it or not, I was fat growing up.
Seth Adler: No.
Al Harrington: Very uncoordinated.
Seth Adler: Really?
Al Harrington: I was the guy at the park, never got picked.
Seth Adler: Holy - I think this is like, we're peas in a pod.
Al Harrington: Yeah, its crazy right?
Seth Adler: There's only one difference, yours changed.
Al Harrington: Right, I didn't beat my mom until I was a freshman in high school.
Seth Adler: Really?
Al Harrington: She used to always beat me one-on-one.
Seth Adler: Wow!
Al Harrington: It's not like she played high school, but I just couldn't beat her.
Seth Adler: Right.
Al Harrington: But after a while I put it all together.
Seth Adler: Okay, after a while. So, you're like this odd man out, until there had to be a year, there had to be like a summer.
Al Harrington: So, let me tell you what happened. So, we moved from Orange, New Jersey to Roselle. When I got there, I had a growth spurt that year. And when I finished 8th grade, I was 5'9.5". When I started my freshman year in Roselle, New Jersey, I was 6'4".
Seth Adler: There we go. That's what happened.
Al Harrington: Football was my first love. I wanted to Lawrence Taylor. My dream was to go to Notre Dame and play for the New York Giants. So, I played freshman year of football -
Seth Adler: Linebacker?
Al Harrington: No, actually I was a lineman. Remember I told you I was uncoordinated.
Seth Adler: Oh, right. So, the [crosstalk 00:03:47]
Al Harrington: [inaudible 00:03:50] so, I was getting in the way, but I did a really good job getting in the way and I got moved up to JV. So, I played the last five games of the season on JV, and the JV coach was actually the freshman basketball coach. So, he told me, "Call me Big Daddy," for some reason. So, my name was Big Daddy. Big Daddy! Big Daddy! It's just like, "Big Daddy, you playing basketball this year." I was like, "Nah, coach. I just want to focus on next year because I want to play varsity." So, he's a real intimidating and ugly dude too [inaudible 00:04:17]. He was just like, "You playing basketball." So I was like, "Alright, coach. I'm playing basketball."
Al Harrington: So, I played basketball my freshman year. I stunk it up, but I was 6'4", 6'4" 6'5". And to this day, I'm a firm believer in God, that God just has a plan for you, whether you have another plan for yourself. He has a plan and it's going to go according to how he wanted it to go. And, my AAU coach, a guy named Jay [inaudible 00:04:41], he was coming to recruit two of the better players on my team, but he befriended me. He felt like I was the way in. So, he was like, "Al, I'll talk to these guys, tell them to play with us, play with the Road Runners [inaudible 00:04:49], and I was like, "Alright, I'll talk to them." Kept talking to them, they never wanted to play. But at the same time, he would invite me to the gym as well.
Seth Adler: Sure.
Al Harrington: And the rest is history, man. He literally taught me how to run, and he taught me how to run and chew gum. Then he taught me to run, chew gum and bounce a basketball. Then he told me to run, chew gum, bounce a basketball and shoot. So, my AAU coach Sandy Pyonin, was actually the head coach. He's the one that taught me everything I know.
Seth Adler: Alright, so, here's two coaches already that we have to thank for this whole thing.
Al Harrington: Right, right, exactly.
Seth Adler: So this first coach, what did he see in you that he's like "get off of this field and get onto this court,"?
Al Harrington: Who knows? I don't know. And then what's even crazy about -
Seth Adler: He never told you?
Al Harrington: He never told me. And then what's crazy about that, so I play in the tournament towards the end of the summer. Literally, I'm about to go back to Roselle High School, and I play in this tournament, and I guess I played well. And I don't think I played well. So Kevin [inaudible 00:05:38] was the coach at my high school, St. Patrick High School and then Coach Hurley, the coach at St. Anthony's, the world famous Coach Hurley.
Seth Adler: Bobby Hurley?
Al Harrington: Yeah, they saw me and they both offered me opportunities to come to their school. So I'm sitting there like, "Damn, should I do this?" So I talked to my mom about it and she was like, "I don't think you should do it."
Seth Adler: She said no?
Al Harrington: She didn't think I was any good! And neither did I really. So, to this day, I have no idea why I chose to go to an all basketball school and play basketball only and just stop playing football.
Seth Adler: Well, it worked out, Al.
Al Harrington: It definitely worked out.
Seth Adler: So, we'll put a pin in that and we'll come back to it.
Al Harrington: Yeah, for sure.
Seth Adler: Because you and I know each other because of cannabis.
Al Harrington: Yes, sir.
Seth Adler: And so you're serious about this whole thing. You and me, we're in similar rooms together, so that's fantastic. But, I see this video, with you and David Stern, who I remember speaking out against drugs in the 1980s. That's when is started watching basketball. And he was no friend of drugs, right? And that's a one big bucket. And you sit down with him, and you start talking to him, and this guy's come all the way around. I guess like the rest of society.
Al Harrington: Well, it was a process. I actually saw him for the first time - I was at the Milken conference maybe two years ago here in L.A. and he was on a sports panel with Robert Kraft and E game company, different things like that. And after it was over, he was walking down and I was like, "Dave, what's up?" He's like, "What are you doing here?" And what's amazing about him, to think about it that, [inaudible 00:07:16] commissioner over 3500 players. When he saw me, he remembered what put me out the league. How's your knee? [inaudible 00:07:24] that's amazing that he remembers all that stuff.
Seth Adler: That is amazing.
Al Harrington: So, I'm like -
Seth Adler: Just the name and the face to begin with, and then he's also got the knee. It's crazy.
Al Harrington: Everything I've been through and if I start talking about all these different things, so he's like "What are you doing here?" And I'm like "I'm just here learning. I'm actually in the marijuana business." And he's like "What? You're in the marijuana business?" He's like, "I've been hearing so much about it and I want some more information."
Seth Adler: Did you say what year it was? What year was this?
Al Harrington: it was two years ago.
Seth Adler: Okay, alright.
Al Harrington: So this was 2015, 2015 Milken conference.
Seth Adler: So, more recent than -
Al Harrington: Exactly, and matter of fact, now that I'm thinking about it, I think it might have been 2016 Milken conference, and he was just like, "I want some more information. Take my number." He gave me his number and everything. He's like, "Give me a call." So I gave him a call maybe like a month later, I forgot to call him. I call a month later, and I'm like, "I'm actually coming to New York. I want to come sit down and just talk to you about this, tell you what I've been working on." And he's like, "I'm actually in Aspen now. [inaudible 00:08:13] winter home," [inaudible 00:08:15] big time or whatever. So I'm like, "Alright, Dave, whatever. Just let me know when you're in New York."
Al Harrington: I was like, "Maybe I'll come to Aspen cause my business is in Colorado." So, we just kept missing each other, so finally last year before the summer of 2017, I was able to sit down with him. And we sat down and we talked, and I told him my grandmother's story. Exactly the reason why I got into cannabis. I told him my story. I told him how I was addicted to anti-inflammatories for seven and a half years.
Seth Adler: Pills, pharma.
Al Harrington: Literally could not work out or play without taking two [inaudible 00:08:47] breaks in the morning and one at night to be able to cope. And I was telling him I dealt with all that and I told him how when I grew up in New Jersey, if you use marijuana you had no future.
Seth Adler: Yeah, you're not a proponent. You're not one of the guys - I mean this - you did not have a relationship with the plant is what we said.
Al Harrington: No I did not. Was totally against it. I used to look down on my teammates that smoked. I just felt like it was just cutting their careers short. That's the kind of stuff that I was thinking about. Why? I mean all this that we got going on good, why are you doing that?
Seth Adler: How could you do this to yourself?
Al Harrington: But until seeing how it affected my grandmother and then how it affected me -
Seth Adler: [inaudible 00:09:25] you did your grandmother first?
Al Harrington: My grandmother was first.
Seth Adler: Alright. So, then she's got glaucoma.
Al Harrington: Yep, and diabetes.
Seth Adler: And diabetes.
Al Harrington: Correct.
Seth Adler: And so Al's playing in Denver, right?
Al Harrington: Right
Seth Adler: Right? Denver Nuggets, little later in the career, so to speak, right? And so then how'd you put two and two together, grandma with what's going on down [inaudible 00:09:44]
Al Harrington: Well, you know its kind of funny cause she's like, she doesn't like to get on a plane, like I said, I'll bring it back to God again. She never wanted to fly. She's always "You come to me, come to me." So, finally one time I come to Colorado, she says "Okay." So she comes out - you know the reason why I knew, like I said, I was ignorant to the fact even when I introduced it to her, the only thing I knew about it is I'm one of those guys that like to read the paper after the game to see if the coach was talking trash me. See what was said, and every day headline was always something about cannabis, every day, every day, every day. And one day I remember it was saying something about glaucoma, is one of the things that medicinally would help. So she comes to see me, she sets up her little pills in the kitchen, like 30 different prescriptions and different things like that -
Seth Adler: Its crazy to see. Is it?
Al Harrington: It was sick. I'm looking at her like, "Grandma," she's 80. "You take all of those every day?" She's like, "Yeah, every day." So I was like, "Well, grandma, you're in Colorado, I was just reading the paper the other day. They were saying there was some medicinal marijuana that could help you with your glaucoma." And she's like, "Medicinal, what is that?" And I was like, "You know, marijuana, like weed." She's like, "Reefa? I ain't smoking no reefa. You better get outta here. Boy, reefa ruined your uncle's life, your grandfather's life, every body, nobody, nobody [inaudible 00:10:54]." She going crazy.
Seth Adler: Reefa?
Al Harrington: So I'm like "Reefa?" You know that's Jersey New York -
Seth Adler: Absolutely!
Al Harrington: So I'm like, "Well, grandma, they're saying that this medicinal - this can help you." And she's like, "No." So the next day, I come back, I had a game this day, she sitting in the same spot in my kitchen. So I say, "Grandma, you sure you don't want to try it?" I was like, "Look, between you and I, I won't tell nobody." I was like, "You know my wife is in the room, nobody will know. Me and you, just try it." She said, "You know, I'm in so much pain today, I'll try anything." So I took her in the garage, I had my boy go and vaporize [inaudible 00:11:26], she got it from dispensary [inaudible 00:11:28], she tried it, and what's funny about that, she hits it once, blow out, hit it again, blow out. And I'm looking at her like, "You sure you don't smoke grandma?"
Seth Adler: Exactly.
Al Harrington: Cause most people cough. Everybody else be coughing their lungs up.
Seth Adler: And most people stop after one if they've never done it before.
Al Harrington: And she just going in, so I'm like, "Grandma, that's enough now. I don't know how you're going to react from it." So I took her downstairs, I went and took my nap, an hour and a half checked on her and knocked on her door, and her back was to the door and she was looking down. So I said, "Grandma, are you okay?" And she turned around and she was crying tears and she was just like, "I'm healed." She said, "You know I haven't been able to read the words in my bible in over 3 years?" And she's sitting there reading her bible. So I'm soft when I see anybody in my family cry, makes me cry. [crosstalk 00:12:09]. So I'm literally sitting there crying with her and after that it changed my life. But still not for me to smoke.
Seth Adler: I gotcha.
Al Harrington: So, next thing happened with me, the next season, I have a meniscus tear, have surgery, and get staph infection that almost killed me.
Seth Adler: Okay, and are you being hyperbolic, Al? What do you mean it almost killed you?
Al Harrington: Well, it got into my bloodstream.
Seth Adler: Oh, so it did almost kill you?
Al Harrington: So, to get into the bloodstream, that's [inaudible 00:12:39] I lost 30 pounds in 8 days, put it like that, that's how serious it was. And so I'm up in Vail, Colorado, getting another clean-out, and this lady named Chloe, she runs this company called Cloverleaf University, she comes up to see me with my cousin, and she's just like, "Al, what are you taking that stuff for, dude? You're going to get hooked on that stuff [inaudible 00:13:01] she's like I bought some stuff for you to try, or whatever." And she bought me [inaudible 00:13:05], she bought me some creams, and she bought me some pills, CBD pills. And she's like, "Here just try this, give this a shot, instead of taking another round of that." And I'm sitting there completely out of it cause you know I how Vicodin and all stuff can do to you, and I tried it, and I tried it again the next morning, and I started experiencing relief. And for me, ever since then I have not taken a Vicodin, anti-inflammatory, anything.
Seth Adler: Nothing.
Al Harrington: Pure chem, pure natural medicine.
Seth Adler: Yeah, just to go back to your grandmother for a second, right? Cause its like, you, Al, you're going to be okay, you know what I'm saying? No matter what you do, you were pretty okay over here. But grandma, sitting on the bed, all she wants to do is read the bible.
Al Harrington: That's all she wanted to do
Seth Adler: Cannabis lets her read the bible, I mean come on!
Al Harrington: Not only read the bible. I mean it gives her unbelievable quality of life. She's big on taking care of her garden and stuff like that. So, her story, literally to me, now if I call her right now, first of all, first thing she going to say is that "Dead has arisen." Cause she always act like I never call her, that's the first thing she going to do. So I'm like, as soon as I call, "The dead has arisen" I'm like "Grandma, I talked to you yesterday. I talked to you two days ago." But then after that she always say, "I grabbed my pen today and as soon as I hit it my whole world opens up. Everything gets so bright and I can see and this [inaudible 00:14:24]." And she go out and take care of her garden and its completely changed her life for the better and she went and told her doctor about it and her doctor was just like, "Medically I cannot sign off on that, but literally if your grandson is giving you something that helps you, I say use it." She uses cannabis every day to start her day and at night.
Seth Adler: Alright, so your way in was through a patient, right? Which is your grandmother, then you became a patient, and so usually that's enough. What's with all this activism?
Al Harrington: Well, now you know what, man? Just because when I think of the way I felt about it and the way my family felt about it, now my whole family uses, like everybody. I remember my dad jus thinking about it, my mom and my dad used to almost physically fight over him using cannabis. It was that bad. I remember times I would come home and I'm looking for him and you just see a little red little dot in the bushes, and he's smoking in the bushes. So, [inaudible 00:15:28], obviously, I just wanted to change the stigma for marijuana, this is real medicine. This is a plant.
Seth Adler: How'd you turn mom around on that then?
Al Harrington: Just by using in front of her. Then my grandmother's story and different things like that, now she always wants the edible, to be honest, a lot of the NBA moms come to her now because they know I'm in [inaudible 00:15:51] and they're always asking, "Can you ask Al? I'm dealing with this type of arthritis or I'm dealing with this and that, and this that." So, literally I help 20% of the retired NBA moms right now, they're all like patients of mine. So, that's what its all about. Its just putting people on to an alternative way literally to just medicate themselves. People that deal with chronic pain and stuff like that, we know all these pharmaceutical drugs, and I think about when I watch a commercial of a pharmaceutical drug that's supposed to cure anything, and then you hear the side effects, loss of vision, internal bleeding, eyeballs might fall out. And I'm like, "So that's okay for us to use, but when we know that medicinal cannabis is definitely another option, without any of those side effects, but we keep [inaudible 00:16:37] and all these people are trying to engage in a war on drugs against it," that's what I'm about. Is just trying to change that.
Seth Adler: I hear you. My favorite pharmaceutical commercial, people have heard me say this, is opioid induced constipation. And so here's the pill for opioid induced constipation, so you've got constipation because of the other opioid that we sold you, crazy.
Al Harrington: I don't understand the world that we live in sometimes. But, it's all about education. And I think that that's what you're doing and that's what I'm doing. We have to just continue to educate people and just let them know it's not what you think it is.
Seth Adler: David Stern was always a unique voice, right? And always a thinking man -
Al Harrington: He's a lawyer.
Seth Adler: And really good at marketing, right? It seemed like it caught his ear. But he's not the commissioner anymore.
Al Harrington: Right.
Seth Adler: How realistic do you think, moving from a conversation with him where he was extremely open minded and basically agreeing with you, taking that next step to the guy that replaced him.
Al Harrington: I think its very close.
Seth Adler: Alright.
Al Harrington: I would say -
Seth Adler: You guys have the same haircut by the way.
Al Harrington: Yeah I know, we're both bald so we definitely have something in common. We've got [inaudible 00:17:54] and Mach 3s, but I think that within three to five years, I think that there is some type of cannabis will be allowed in the NBA.
Seth Adler: Really?
Al Harrington: What they're waiting on is to test it. Which obviously will come from the federal government, or we're going to have to fund testing ourselves that can prove to them that it actually works or is least a viable option for an alternative way. The best way I could explain it to Michelle Roberts, and her team was like, when you think about players, at the end of their games, you think about over the course of a game and I'm getting people inside, we go through a lot of emotions in a game, it may look like its all fun, you see us smiling, but literally we argue with the coach, we argue with our teammates, we argue with the guy we're playing against, somebody in defense, in the stands saying something. So by the time the game's over, we're so wired, we're still like, "What's next?" So we're always looking for something to bring us down. And not only, we're in pain too because from battling that whole game.
Seth Adler: Right, sure.
Al Harrington: So, a lot of us, we turn to either the prescription drugs that they offer us, or we turn to alcohol. So -
Seth Adler: Get outta here!
Al Harrington: Yeah, definitely. We get on that plane or we go to dinner and we have four, five, six, seven, eight drinks to bring ourselves down.
Seth Adler: What was the pharmaceuticals you were talking about?
Al Harrington: I mean, the anti-inflammatories I was talking about. Depends on how much pain -
Seth Adler: They're just there for the taking.
Al Harrington: Oh yeah, you just go to the trainer, you just, "I'm dealing with this." And he goes into his bag and he pulls out any kind of pills, they actually give us pills that's not even prescribed to us, personally, they're just a war chest of medication that's there and is available.
Seth Adler: People can't see that I'm looking at you like I'm shocked -
Al Harrington: And I'm not saying that they give it to us irresponsibly, but they give it to you, whatever you need. Whatever you need to be in that gym on 10 o'clock that next day to be ready to practice or play, that's what they give you. So, I was just trying to explain to them that I was just giving them some examples, now just think about it, we get on a plane, now we're sitting there and we're drinking, we fly, we land. We got a game the next day. It's called a back to back. I feel like, when I go to that game the next day, I'm dehydrated, because I just drank liquor we know what liquor do, I flew and everything else. I was trying to explain to them, that if I had cannabis, they could do the same thing, right? Bringing me down, relax me, but actually heal my body.
Seth Adler: Yeah, anti-inflammatory also.
Al Harrington: And for them, that's what they can't understand is that anti-inflammatory part. They agree with the relaxing, they agree with all the psycho [crosstalk 00:20:26] and all that type of stuff, but what they're trying to figure out is, does it really heal the body? Does it really -
Seth Adler: Prove to me that it improves my asset, and I'm pointing at a person, and you are the asset -
Al Harrington: And David said the same thing. David said if a player can use cannabis, and we give superstars another year or two in the league, oh, we're all for it. Bring it on.
Seth Adler: Or tell the fans that they'll be in the game the next day - [crosstalk 00:20:48]
Al Harrington: Right, or they're not going to be missing back to backs, you get all this rest now and all that type of stuff. So, at the end of the day, that's what needs to happen. We need more testing and more clinical trials and stuff like that so, one of the things I'm going to pitch to them so my trainer is named [inaudible 00:21:05], he's actually going to work with me as well. I'm actually about to launch a new line besides my Viola line called Harrington wellness, which will be all CBD, with 100% CBD line.
Al Harrington: And what I want, where he trains out in Vegas, he has 30 - 40 players train there every year. [crosstalk 00:21:21] active, active players and they use cannabis products, all summer, right? Because that's just all turned away - they're getting educated to know, "I can use this cream now, instead of taking four Advils and different things like that?" And they prefer that. So what I'm goin to pitch to them is doing a blind study with the 40 players, all the players that are willing to do it, and nothing that they're going to ingest, just all topicals and stuff -
Seth Adler: Okay, good
Al Harrington: - this summer. So, that's a meeting I'm going to have in the next couple weeks -
Seth Adler: I like that
Al Harrington: - just try to get the ball rolling.
Seth Adler: Where is it?
Al Harrington: This'll be in Las Vegas.
Seth Adler: Okay, alright. You like Las Vegas?
Al Harrington: I lived in Las Vegas five years.
Seth Adler: Why?
Al Harrington: I like Vegas. Vegas is like living in two places. Cause if you live off the Strip, I lived in Henderson, so the Henderson -
Seth Adler: Oh, yeah. That's nice up there, I'll give you that.
Al Harrington: - and then you have the Strip. So I feel like you live in two places, like you go in vacation to the Strip and there's not so many places you can go on vacation where you live.
Seth Adler: Did your wife like the Strip, though?
Al Harrington: She loved it.
Seth Adler: Really?
Al Harrington: We used to do our little parent getaways.
Seth Adler: Okay, how many kids you got?
Al Harrington: I got four.
Seth Adler: Well, that's a lot of kids.
Al Harrington: Yeah, I got 8, 6, 2, and 3 months.
Seth Adler: 8, 6, 2, and 3 months. [crosstalk 00:22:36] The 8 year old, only 10 years until the 8 year old gets to the NBA.
Al Harrington: Well it's a girl so WNBA.
Seth Adler: WNBA
Al Harrington: My boy is the youngest so I got, what, I'll be 57, 58 by the time they make it. I'm going to be like Lavar Ball.
Seth Adler: Alright, we were just going to do your NBA career real quick, but you bring up that guy. What the hell with that guy?
Al Harrington: You know what, man? He's just a really proud dad.
Seth Adler: I understand that.
Al Harrington: He gets a little out of control.
Seth Adler: Yeah, he does.
Al Harrington: He gets a little out of control, but at the end of the day -
Seth Adler: Are you going to be doing that to your kids? No way!
Al Harrington: I think so.
Seth Adler: No, no. You'll do that quietly, you won't do that in front of cameras.
Al Harrington: Don't let my boys be like Steph Curry. I don't know how Dell Curry controls himself. I'll be all on the court. I'll be going crazy. I mean most of them are like that. So, I need floor seats -
Seth Adler: I see
Al Harrington: - and I won't make it all about me if you're talking about the coaches -
Seth Adler: No, no, no, but you're more a fan though than -
Al Harrington: My boys can play like Steph Curry. Oh my God, you have no idea. You have no idea how I would act.
Seth Adler: Alright, so just real quick, 18 years old, you go into the NBA, alright so literally a boy among men. Just give us a sense, obviously doing real well, we'll skip past the early years, but just, now you're on the court, right? With these guys, who want to let you know that you are a boy and you shouldn't be here, rookie.
Al Harrington: Right.
Seth Adler: Right? Talk about that.
Al Harrington: Well you know what, man? It was tough but you know what? I was so naïve, that's what's good about being young. And that's not it about being an exceptional athlete. The reason why we're special, besides talent, is because we have no concept of reality.
Seth Adler: How so?
Al Harrington: Because we think that we're the best. No matter what, no matter what the situation is, it's not our fault. It's always somebody else's fault. If I got the opportunity - so we're always in our mind like, "What's next, what's next. I'm better. I want more, I want more, I want more." So for me, come to think about it, I didn't start playing basketball seriously till I was sophomore in high school -
Seth Adler: That's crazy
Al Harrington: So in three years, I'm playing in the [inaudible 00:24:51]. And I hated Reggie Miller. I got drafted by the Pacers of [inaudible 00:24:54], I'm a die hard Knick fan and -
Seth Adler: I hate for the same reason -
Al Harrington: Reggie Miller
Seth Adler: Agreed.
Al Harrington: And I'm like, "This is now my teammate," and then, not only that, he was the worst vet ever -
Seth Adler: To a rookie
Al Harrington: To a rookie. I couldn't do nothing right -
Seth Adler: Of course
Al Harrington: "Al, shut up. Go over there, stand in the corner, get me some orange juice, get me donuts, go wash my car." I'm like, "Damn! My parents, they make me do all this stuff." -
Seth Adler: You already scored six in four seconds on me as a Knicks fan, is what Al Harrington is thinking.
Al Harrington: Exactly, I'm just like, "I hate this dude. Why do I have to be this guy's teammate?" But they embraced me at the end of the day, and its tough because it was funny, I was just having a discussion with some friends of mine. We have a blog, not a blog, we have a chat room, its like three current players and four retired players. And one of the current players was complaining about the guys on the TV, hating [crosstalk 00:25:56] and I was explaining to him, I was just like, "You know what? We used to feel that way too." It was older guys that was hating on us. And I told him, "its just part of the process. Its not personal, it's really not personal." Its just that you see guys that you feel like, if you had opportunity to [inaudible 00:26:17], you were better. And you probably are. In that one game. Not for 82. You know what I'm saying?
Seth Adler: Absolutely?
Al Harrington: Its just a process that you slowly but surely get to the point where you realize, "I can't play with them no more." And I had finally gotten to that point. It took me three years. From my first three years, I was my fourth year out. My first three years, I always felt like, if somebody called me, I could go. Not no more.
Seth Adler: Not no more.
Al Harrington: Now I understand reality.
Seth Adler: You've come around.
Al Harrington: I've come around.
Seth Adler: Well, but wait a second now. Because, you know we're both Knicks fans, I remember when you were on the Knicks -
Al Harrington: Right, right.
Seth Adler: You played real good ball on the Knicks.
Al Harrington: You know what? I'd never in all I can pride myself in saying, I never got booted to guard in two years. And that was -
Seth Adler: That's hard to do.
Al Harrington: And let me tell you something. I promise you, I had butterflies before every single game in the guard. Every single game.
Seth Adler: You know what they're capable of.
Al Harrington: I just know how they get down. So, I can say, in my two short years, I never once got booted to guard.
Seth Adler: So, was that a dream come true, though, to put on the uniform and playing the guard?
Al Harrington: It was and I wanted to stay too, man, it was crazy that [inaudible 00:27:23] but then Tony just didn't like me! Didn't like my game or something, I don't know -
Seth Adler: Well I don't like him. Does that help?
Al Harrington: Yeah, it don't help now cause I'm here with you instead of still playing for the Knicks. But, me and him can never get on the same page for some reason. And I tried everything. I tried the [inaudible 00:27:41] and just try to help change the culture and different things like that. But he was just not receptive to it at all. He couldn't wait to get me out of there.
Seth Adler: Does that have something to do with up top there?
Al Harrington: No, Donnie Walsh brought me there. So, I'm sure Donnie would've wanted me to stay.
Seth Adler: Ah, Donnie, all the way up.
Al Harrington: You know what, one thing I can say about Jim Dolan, he doesn't know a lot. What's really funny is that I was in Vegas one time, right? I'm playing with the Knicks, I'm playing, I'm on the team. We're in the night club in Aria, right? So he's in there with one of the hosts, so my table's right underneath his. So, I stand up on the back of the couch[inaudible 00:28:20] everybody having a great time. The host taps me, and says, "Oh, he's Mr. Dolan." So, I turn around and the guys like, "Who?" He didn't even know who I was.
Seth Adler: And you're on the team.
Al Harrington: I'm on the team! So I say all that to say, "I don't think he makes decisions up there."
Seth Adler: It can't be his fault.
Al Harrington: I don't think it's his fault. I think the only time he did step in was with the Melo thing, which he did mess up because, can you imagine if you added Melo to the team, you know I'm a die hard Knicks fan, the only time I don't like -
Seth Adler: This team with mellow
Al Harrington: The only team I don't like them, is when I'm playing them. Other than that, die hard, so you got to think about it. If they would've kept Gallinari, Wilson Chandler, and Raymond Felton and added Melo, with [inaudible 00:29:08] style and them -
Seth Adler: Oh, you mean then?
Al Harrington: Back then I was talking to [crosstalk 00:29:12]. They traded all their young assets to get [crosstalk 00:29:16]. They made [inaudible 00:29:18] cause Melo was coming anyway. Melo, his mom was -
Seth Adler: Oh, he wanted to come.
Al Harrington: Then I'm in Denver when it happened. He was definitely going to the Knicks.
Seth Adler: Oh my goodness.
Al Harrington: But they traded away everybody and then Botte had no talent. It was just him and Amare.
Seth Adler: Oh, geez.
Al Harrington: He messed up.
Seth Adler: And then Amare goes down.
Al Harrington: And then Amare goes down. We just can't get it together, man. But we got, what is it Porzingis?
Seth Adler: [crosstalk 00:29:41] the unicorn, right? And the other guy too is the center now, the big guy.
Al Harrington: Kanter. Kanter's alright. I like Porzingis. Porzingis used to work out with in Vegas.
Seth Adler: You know its Porzingis, right?
Al Harrington: Porzingis [inaudible 00:29:56]. What am I calling -
Seth Adler: That's inside Porzingis [crosstalk 00:29:59].
Al Harrington: What is it again?
Seth Adler: Porzingis, I feel like that's inside.
Al Harrington: Both of them, I like both of them. I like Porzingis and Borgingis.
Seth Adler: Alright, so we did enough basketball, we can do maybe another basketball another time, but the Viola line you mentioned, that's your grandmother's line, so that's THC, and now you're doing a CBD thing.
Al Harrington: Correct, correct.
Seth Adler: So, basically, we got products, we got prognostication -
Al Harrington: Right, right
Seth Adler: Right? And you really, you got promotions as well, you're really here for the industry and trying to make a change here.
Al Harrington: Yep, trying to move it forward, change the perception and just let people know that this is a real viable way to medicate themselves and heal themselves.
Seth Adler: And I love the fact that you're not originally a cannabis guy.
Al Harrington: I was converted, man. I was converted. It took a while to, it really did.
Seth Adler: So I was thinking, you didn't even go to college, so that wouldn't have even happened.
Al Harrington: I wouldn't have touched it.,
Seth Adler: That's it.
Al Harrington: I promise I would not have touched -
Seth Adler: Oh, even if you went.
Al Harrington: Even if I went. I was in that mode. It's the only reason why I tried it was because my grandmother first, and then when my own injuries when I was like, "Let me try to smoke now and see how that feels." And then the rest is history.
Seth Adler: And then here we are.
Al Harrington: Everyday.
Seth Adler: And we got to get you to your wife, so I'll ask you the three final questions.
Al Harrington: Yeah, alright, alright.
Seth Adler: I'll tell you what they are and I'll ask you them in order.
Al Harrington: Okay
Seth Adler: What's most surprised you in cannabis, what most surprised you in life and then on the soundtrack of your life, one track, one song that's got to be on there?
Al Harrington: Oh my goodness.
Seth Adler: And for you also, feel free to do top five, but first things first. What's most surprised you in cannabis?
Al Harrington: I guess what most surprised me in cannabis is, there's a bunch of things. One thing I think of off top is just that the one thing that surprised me is that there's such a negative connotation towards it, but most of the people I know or as soon as I tell them I'm in it, they are so intrigued. "Oh, we believe in it, we're supporters. Maybe I don't use it but I think it's definitely a viable option with different things like that." So with that being said, I don't understand where all the negative push back -
Seth Adler: 80 years of prohibition. When you and me were in grade school, we got, "Just say no," I get where it comes from.
Al Harrington: But I mean people who are older than me, my mentors that I use, like my billionaire friends that mentor me, they're old, and they're open to it now. So, all I'm saying is so many people, I just don't understand where is the push back.
Seth Adler: I gotcha.
Al Harrington: Where all the negativity is coming from because I don't run into anybody that is negative towards it.
Seth Adler: Even people with money, is your point.
Al Harrington: Exactly, the people to me that make the decisions that are influencing the politicians and different things -
Seth Adler: I don't know if they're influencing all those, I don't know if your guys are influencing the politicians that are voting against it.
Al Harrington: Right, right.
Seth Adler: Does that make sense?
Al Harrington: Yeah, that definitely makes sense.
Seth Adler: Cause there's other money guys, I was just talking, who was I talking to? I think Aaron Justice over at Buds and Roses cause we're here in L.A. and was I talking to him about this? I don't know, but my point to him was, that its got to be the money.
Al Harrington: Right.
Seth Adler: Because if you've got the voters and the politicians, you would think would vote with the voters -
Al Harrington: Right right.
Seth Adler: - but maybe not.
Al Harrington: That's what I'm saying. What world are we living in right now, cause if the people say they want it, I vote the politicians [inaudible 00:33:31] the people what they want. Then, I suppose they dictate what we do, that's called a dictatorship.
Seth Adler: That's it.
Al Harrington: And when we're in the land of the free. So, it don't add up to me.
Seth Adler: I'm with you 100% exactly. We the people have fallen asleep at the wheel. I'm not even kidding. We got to hold these guys accountable.
Al Harrington: We do man.
Seth Adler: Guys and gals.
Al Harrington: Yes, sir.
Seth Adler: Men and women. Just in case, right? You got to got to do it right.
Al Harrington: Its so sensitive right now, right? Can't say anything [inaudible 00:33:56]
Seth Adler: Here's the thing. I respect everybody for doing whatever they're doing, and I think we all got to lighten up a little.
Al Harrington: Yeah, we do.
Seth Adler: Definitely do.
Al Harrington: Yes, I don't know what's going on. I'm just living every day.
Seth Adler: Yeah, no its nuts.
Al Harrington: Try and take advantage of every day.
Seth Adler: Yeah, exactly, that's it. Exactly. Alright, so what's most surprised you in life?
Al Harrington: What's most surprised me in life is how hard it is to raise kids.
Seth Adler: Yeah, well you've got four of them. Maybe that's the problem.
Al Harrington: No, let me tell you because [crosstalk 00:34:23] no, but seriously though, I mean my mom had four kids too.
Seth Adler: Okay.
Al Harrington: I just don't remember that she had to worry about me so much and do so much for me.
Seth Adler: She didn't. She didn't
Al Harrington: Right, I grew up - I remember at 8, literally, alright, go outside, come back when the streetlights come on. I wouldn't dare let my 8 year old go out right now and do anything by herself.
Seth Adler: Yeah, well now the world has changed in that way as well, right? When we were running around on the streets in the backyard and over here and over there, there wasn't the things that could happen now.
Al Harrington: But then let me ask you this, you don't think those things was happening, you don't think its just social media now or its just that, what's the difference, cause I still don't anybody that's been kidnapped ever in my life. I've never had a friend[crosstalk 00:35:05] to this day. Never had a friend -
Seth Adler: None of your friends kids -
Al Harrington: Nobody.
Seth Adler: Yeah, yeah.
Al Harrington: And I live in a really nice neighborhood, behind gates.
Seth Adler: Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Al Harrington: And I still wouldn't let my kids go out and play without -
Seth Adler: Maybe it is the social media[crosstalk 00:35:18]
Al Harrington: It has to be, its something like that fear that has been instilled in us while I think we watch these shows [crosstalk 00:35:24] and at the end of the day, it really makes parenting really tough because its just a 24 hour thing and its just not enough time in the day. So, that has definitely surprised me in life in how hard it is to raise kids because I feel like when we was growing up, it was a breeze.
Seth Adler: Yeah, it was easier. I'll tell you that much.
Al Harrington: That's what I thought, but -
Seth Adler: I mean it was easier from a kid's perspective
Al Harrington: Yeah, right[crosstalk 00:35:48] that's what I'm saying cause we didn't have any problems, any worries maybe. And I tell people all the time, right? People always say, If you could go back to any age, what would it be? I would probably be about five or six. Not to have a care in the world. Have no bills, it wouldn't have to worry about what nobody said. Nothing.
Seth Adler: Go outside and play.
Al Harrington: I would do that in a heartbeat.
Seth Adler: Yeah, no question. Alright, so should we do top five or should we do a soundtrack? Let's try soundtrack first.
Al Harrington: That's a great question. I'm trying to think. What would be my song?
Seth Adler: So it doesn't have to be the perfect song, doesn't have to -
Al Harrington: Mary [inaudible 00:36:19] how do you like that one?
Seth Adler: Why am I not able to place that -
Al Harrington: Damn, who is that?
Seth Adler: I don't know. We're going to have to look that up.
Al Harrington: [inaudible 00:36:34] I know the listeners know. Help us out. [crosstalk 00:36:38] I don't know. That's a great question. I have no idea [crosstalk 00:36:41]
Seth Adler: But do you have a top five?
Al Harrington: Not for the songs of my life.
Seth Adler: No, no, no.
Al Harrington: Oh, just songs in general.
Seth Adler: No, no, no, top five rappers.
Al Harrington: [inaudible 00:36:52], Jay-Z, Notorious B.I.G., Tupac, Lil Wayne -
Seth Adler: Really? I think that's five.
Al Harrington: That's four.
Seth Adler: That's four?
Al Harrington: Don't cut me short.
Seth Adler: Alright.
Al Harrington: Let me get my five off. And my fifth rapper would be Big Daddy Kane. [crosstalk 00:37:17]
Seth Adler: Look at that, look at that with the flat top, with that deep, deep voice. Big Daddy Kane you can't beat it.
Al Harrington: [crosstalk 00:37:23] Who don't want to be Big Daddy Kane? You even want to be Big Daddy Kane.
Seth Adler: Without question, without question. Al Harrington my friends. We'll see you down the line.
Al Harrington: Yes, sir. Let's do it.
Seth Adler: And there you have Al Harrington, obviously a family man, obviously a guy that has come to cannabis in a very real way. So, if you haven't seen it, go check out his interview with David Stern. Very much appreciate Al's time, very much appreciate your time. Stay tuned.
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