June 15, 2012
By Lia Crawford
Luke Harangody has not had the easiest ride through the NBA since he was drafted to the Boston Celtics in the 2010 NBA Draft. After joining the Celtics, a year later Harangody was traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers and later spent time with their D-League team, the Canton Charge. Harangody’s NBA experience has now led him to this summer’s free agency where he awaits his fate for next season. However, his attitude still remains the same, and it’s positive as ever.
When talking about his NBA experience, Harangody admits that it has not been the smoothest but that he has learned a lot of lessons throughout his time in the league thus far.
He said, “[Being in the NBA has had] a lot of ups and downs. I’ve learned a lot. Overall, it’s a great experience, a great learning experience. I’ve seen a lot and I’ve travelled the country. I’m living my dream right now so there’s really no complaints.”
Entering the free agency this summer as a restricted free agent, Harangody has the right mindset. This 6’8” power forward has not only proven his talent on both the Canton Charge and the Cavaliers, showing the teams that he can put up a double-double in his short time on the court but he has also proven his adaptability.
Most NBA guys wouldn’t take being sent down to the D-League lightly, but Harangody viewed this change as a way to get better. Instead of complaining about being sent to the Charge, he said, “[It was a] positive experience. At first I was a little questionable about it but the minutes aren’t always there and it gave me a chance to get some playing time and for me to get back in the groove and back into my routine. And just to be on the court, it was great for me to get minutes.”
The biggest thing that Harangody gained from playing with the Canton Charge wasn’t just minutes, it was his confidence. He left the D-League and headed back to the Cavaliers with the confidence that he had felt when leaving Notre Dame and heading to the draft. He was reassured that he could still play at the level that he was used to in college and in his rookie season, and that he was still a great contender in the NBA.
To regain this confidence all Harangody needed was time on the court, he said, “Obviously everyone wants to play in the NBA, everyone wants to play at that level, that’s the goal, but I needed to realize at the same time that I did need that playing experience. I did need to get my confidence back so that’s why it was such a good experience for me.”
So with his regained confidence and the free agency looming over his head, Harangody is once again working to make himself even better this summer. Spending the summer in Cleveland, he is working out with the team especially the strength coaches to improve on a few of the weaknesses that he can see in his own game. He plans to develop the little aspects of his game like his quickness, strength and body throughout the summer with the Cavaliers.
The free agency experience isn’t easy, the uncertainty of where he will play next season is tough but Harangody looks at the brighter side of the situation.
He said, “It’s been kind of hard, I don’t think anyone likes being in limbo not knowing where they’re going to be at in the upcoming year. But its part of the game and its just something that you have to do.”
Luke Harangody’s unique quality that he would bring to any NBA team is his willingness to learn even years after hearing his name called in the NBA draft. He may not have had the smoothest ride so far in the league, but he has picked up lessons along the way. Harangody has learned from future hall of famers Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett of the Boston Celtics, and his teammates and coaching staff on both the Cleveland Cavaliers and Canton Charge.
He entered the draft with no expectations, just the mindset of continuing with his same mentality and his hard work ethic. Though his journey has had its fair share of ups and downs, he continues to stay positive, work hard and spend most of his time in the gym.
Come next season, despite where Luke Harangody ends up, teams can be confident that he will be an addition with exceptional talent and open ears.