The former Celtics big man, now a 76er opened up to Boston Herald reporter Steve Bulpett on the trials and tribulations that occurred last season, including NBA free agency. Fans & pundits wondered whether a disagreement in guaranteed money would be enough to push Al Horford to seek greener pastures. According to Al, more factors led to the decision then we were led to believe.
After what was a disappointing end to the 2018-19 season there were many uncertainties left on the roster. But the eventual departure of Al Horford wasn't one of them. Horford took one look at the team and pondered with the idea of moving elsewhere.
“And then I’m looking at my career and myself and the years that I have left. There were certain things that we wanted to accomplish as a team and things that we needed to make that happen. We got all those pieces last year, but it didn’t happen for us, and moving forward I didn’t know if it was going to be a two-year wait or whatever it was going to be”Horford told Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald
Let's us not forget the contract negotiation, both the Celtics and Horford reps couldn't agree on the extra year. Once Horford caught word that there was another team willing to go the extra year with added incentives, he jumped on the opportunity granted by a conference rival.
“It was that and the financial reasons. When we started with the team trying to come up with things and we couldn’t agree on certain numbers, that’s when I decided, you know what, I’m going to have to open my free agency. I believe not only that I am worth a certain amount of money, but also I want to be in a position that I have a really good opportunity to win now. You know, my window is now. That’s how I feel.”Horford told Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald
What may have been the proverbial gut punch to many Celtics fans, including myself was the question about the newly acquired (G) Kemba Walker and whether or not Walker could've persuaded him to stay had he known ahead of time.
“I don’t want to get caught up in the past,” Horford added when asked about playing with Walker, “but, yeah, that would have been totally different.”Horford to Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald
Man, what a gut punch.
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