Matt Harpring in 2009.
May 31, 1976|
|Listed height||6 ft 7 in (2.01 m)|
|Listed weight||230 lb (104 kg)|
|High school||Marist School (Atlanta, Georgia)|
|College||Georgia Tech (1994–1998)|
|NBA draft||1998 / Round: 1 / Pick: 15th overall|
|Selected by the Orlando Magic|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NBA statistics|
|Points||7,645 (11.5 ppg)|
|Rebounds||3,366 (5.1 rpg)|
|Assists||907 (1.4 apg)|
|Stats at Basketball-Reference.com|
Matthew Joseph Harpring (born May 31, 1976) is a retired American professional basketball player who played 11 seasons in the National Basketball Association (NBA) and is currently paired with play-by-play broadcaster Craig Bolerjack as the color analyst in broadcasting games for the Utah Jazz.
After attending Marist School near Atlanta, Harpring played college basketball at Georgia Tech, where he was a four-year starter. He was named First Team All-ACC three times (the only other Yellow Jacket player to accomplish this feat was Mark Price from 1984 to 1986). In his senior season (1997–98), Harpring set career-highs by averaging 21.6 points and 9.4 rebounds per game, ranking second in the ACC in both categories. For his efforts, he was named Third Team All-American.
He finished his collegiate career as Georgia Tech's second all-time leader in points (2,225) and rebounds (997). He is the institute's all-time leader in free throws attempted (675) and made (508). Prior to his final regular season home game, Georgia Tech retired Harpring's jersey number 15. In 2002, Harpring was selected to the ACC 50th Anniversary men's basketball team as one of the fifty greatest players in Atlantic Coast Conference history.
While he excelled on the court, he was equally impressive in the classroom. Harpring earned a bachelor's degree in business management from Georgia Tech, and was named GTE Academic All-District III three times. As a senior, he was an Academic All-American.
Early professional career
The Orlando Magic selected Harpring with the 15th pick in the first round of the 1998 NBA draft. In his rookie season, he averaged 8.2 points and 4.3 rebounds per game. He started 22 of 50 games, averaging 10.5 points and 5.5 rebounds as a starter. He was named to the 1998–99 NBA All-Rookie First Team.
In his second year with the Magic, Harpring played in just four games. An injury to his left ankle sidelined him for most of the season. In August 2000, he was traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers for center Andrew DeClercq. He played just one season with the Cavs, averaging 11.1 points and 4.3 rebounds in 56 games. He scored a career-high 28 points against Charlotte on March 16, 2001.
In August 2001, the Cavs traded Harpring to the Philadelphia 76ers along with Cedric Henderson and Robert Traylor in exchange for Tyrone Hill and Jumaine Jones. Harpring played in 81 games for the Sixers during the 2001–02 season. He set career highs in points, rebounds, assists, steals, and blocks. For the year, he averaged 11.8 points and 7.1 rebounds per game. He scored 20 or more points in five different games.
Harpring signed a free agent contract with the Utah Jazz in August 2002. Known as a smart, hard-working player, he fit well in Utah's offensive system, playing alongside superstars Karl Malone and John Stockton. Harpring played the best basketball of his career, averaging 17.6 points per game while shooting 51.1 percent from the floor and 41.3 percent on three-pointers. He set a new career high with 30 points against the Los Angeles Clippers on November 26, 2002. Three nights later, he set another career high with 33 points against the Minnesota Timberwolves (on November 29, 2002). He finished second in voting for the NBA's Most Improved Player in 2002–03 (behind Golden State's Gilbert Arenas).
Prior to the 2003–04 season, Stockton announced his retirement and Malone left Utah to play for the Los Angeles Lakers. Harpring was named team captain by coach Jerry Sloan. Harpring provided leadership for the young team, which played surprisingly well despite the departures of Malone and Stockton. Harpring's season ended suddenly with a knee injury that required surgery to repair. In 31 games, he averaged 16.2 points and 8.0 rebounds per game. At the time of his injury, he was Utah's leading scorer.
Harpring returned from his injury the following season, but saw his role on the team reduced as Andrei Kirilenko emerged as an All-Star at small forward, and the Jazz added power forwards Carlos Boozer and Mehmet Okur to the roster.
In 2009, after suffering various injuries and a post-surgery infection in his ankle, Harpring announced that he would probably not be able to continue playing in the NBA, though he did not formally retire. He joined the Jazz television broadcast team for a few games to add color commentary.
Since 2010, Harpring has successfully transitioned to his current role as color commentary voice for the games broadcast on AT&T SportsNet Rocky Mountain, adding a dry sense of humor which he admits he suppressed while a player to the widely recognized play-by-play skills of Craig Bolerjack.
Oklahoma City Thunder
On December 22, 2009, Harpring's contract was included in a trade between the Jazz and the Oklahoma City Thunder, sending Harpring and point guard Eric Maynor to the Thunder in exchange for the rights to 2002 draft pick Peter Fehse. Harpring did not report to Oklahoma City, who waived him on February 22, 2010. He then joined NBA TV as a studio analyst.
Awards and honors
NBA career statistics
|GP||Games played||GS||Games started||MPG||Minutes per game|
|FG%||Field goal percentage||3P%||3-point field goal percentage||FT%||Free throw percentage|
|RPG||Rebounds per game||APG||Assists per game||SPG||Steals per game|
|BPG||Blocks per game||PPG||Points per game||Bold||Career high|
- Points – 33 vs. Minnesota Timberwolves, November 29, 2002
- Rebounds – 19 vs. Orlando Magic, November 17, 2003
- Assists – 7 vs. Charlotte Hornets, March 16, 2001
- Steals – 4 on 6 occasions
- Blocks – 3 on 2 occasions
- Minutes – 49 vs. Sacramento Kings, November 1, 2000
Harpring and his wife Amanda, who is a physician, have five children: the first son Luke Matthew and second daughter Kate Eileen (b. January 2008).
- Tyrone Hill Returns To the Cavs
- Harpring: Season, maybe career over
- Jazz announce broadcast crews, schedule for 2015-16 season
- From Player to Broadcaster, Harpring Enjoying Role as Jazz TV Analyst
- Maynor headed to Thunder
- Thunder Sign Anderson, Waive Harpring Archived 2010-02-25 at the Wayback Machine.
- NBA and Jazz Friday update: AK, Price ready to return - Salt Lake Tribune