(R.R. Magellan, also known as “Rey-Rey”, is the founder and editor of the L.A. based-NBA at-large site, The No-Look Pass. From time to time, he will take us back to the Laker players of yesteryear, give his thoughts on how the player performed as a Laker, and how they are doing now. For more of Rey-Rey’s work, check out TheNoLookPass.Com.)
He didn’t play much for the Lakers. In fact, he only played a total of 86 games (started 14 of those) that spanned two seasons. But Antonio Harvey was an exciting player in the lean years of the Lakers as they transitioned from Showtime to the Shaq years. He went to Pfeiffer University from North Carolina but went undrafted in the 1993 NBA Draft. He then signed as a free agent with the Lakers before the 1993-94 season started.
Harvey didn’t get much playing time in his stint with the Lakers (not even 10 minutes per game) but he made the most out of it. He had incredible leaping ability and was an easy fan favorite with his hustle and spectacular dunks and blocks (0.7 in his stay but with his playing time, that’s impressive… he blocked 2.8 shots per 36 minutes in his first season and 2.6 per 36 in his second). He definitely won me over but he didn’t have much of an offensive game other than his air show and putbacks.
His Laker highlight was definitely his participation in the 1995 Slam Dunk Contest. He looked poised to go to the Finals as he hyped up the crowd before his last dunk. What happened after looked comical; he lost himself in the air attempting a 360 dunk and ended up throwing the ball on the backboard, completely missing the rim. I will never forget the reactions the All-Stars had after that miss (including future Laker, Shaquille O’Neal).
It was hard to get Harvey playing time with Vlade Divac, Elden Campbell, and Sam Bowie already on the roster… and he barely got on the court during the surprising 1994-95 Laker playoff run. He became expendable for the expansion draft for the following season and the then-Vancouver Grizzlies snatched him up. He enjoyed his best statistical stint in Vancouver where he averaged 5.4 points and 5.2 boards in 18 games. The Grizzlies waived him halfway through the season and he went back to L.A. for a stay with the Clippers. He would play for the Sonics, Blazers, and the Hawks in little clumps of the season and in between those, he played in Europe. He ended his NBA career after the 2002-03 season. At the very least, I’ll remember Harvey as a nice high-flying act and I was glad to see him suit up for the Lakers for a couple of seasons.
Antonio Harvey is now the radio analyst for the Portland TrailBlazers, where he played for two seasons. Glad to see him still be involved with the NBA after he was done playing.