NEW: Al Horford opens up about why he left the Celtics, says changes were needed: "I just think that if Kyrie would have stayed, I don't know if it would have worked... It was just clear that the group that we had just wasn't going to be able to coexist." https://t.co/sqOHhqTM9w
After the Kyrie Irving saga, the Boston Celtics needed to re-adjust. And re-adjust they did by bringing in All-Star Kemba Walker and other filler pieces. Bulpett gets an interesting answer from Horford on whether or not he would’ve reconsidered staying if he knew Walker was coming to town.
“I don’t want to get caught up in the past,” he said, “but, yeah, that would have been totally different.”
On the face of the comment, I have no choice but to believe it. But with all the tampering that goes on in the NBA, the skeptic in me feels that he knew the chances were high that Kemba was a possibility in Boston.
He did know that Kyrie was leaving, though. I love nothing more than piling on Kyrie, and Horford didn’t take a real dig at his former teammate, but you’re welcome to read between the lines if you wish.
“I just think that if Kyrie would have stayed, I don’t know if it would have worked. There would have had to be some major changes as far as players, because it was just clear that the group that we had just wasn’t going to be able to coexist.”
In the piece, Horford shares that his heart was in Boston. Maybe I’m choosing what I want to hear, but I do believe that. He chose Boston initially. He bought in. He played hard. Last season changed things.
He feels like he has a better chance to win the Philadelphia 76ers. On paper, it makes sense, but I’d love nothing more than for the Celtics to prove him wrong.
Along with chasing a ring, he was chasing money too. There is no shame in going after the dollars. Especially for a player at Horford’s stage in their career. This was the last time he could maximize his value in free agency.
“I had to think about what made sense for me and some of the things that I wanted to accomplish,” Horford said. “They were three really good years for me there, but we just fell short of that goal of raising that banner. I had to make a head-on decision, and it came down to the opportunity for me to compete for a championship, but also to maximize financially.”
I will always want the Celtics to stomp the 6ers until the day I die. I wish Al the best, but I hope he doesn’t get that ring in Philly. If it does happen, then he would have deserved it. He truly bled green in his time here and all that doesn’t go out the window.
“I felt like I really gave everything I had. I gave everything I had — on the floor, trying to be the best leader that I could, trying to help the guys as much as I could, putting in the extra work. So no regrets, but disappointment. I understand if people are disappointed. I’m disappointed, too. We didn’t win a championship; we didn’t get to that stage.”
Thanks, Al. Now I hope the Celtics win by double-digits against your new team on October 23rd. I’ll be rooting against you in that one.