Al Horford dismissed the statement made by his father that the main reason for him to leave the Hawks was because of the fans and because of the signing of Dwight Howard. Horford clarified that those were not the main reasons why he signed with the Boston Celtics.
When Horford signed the $113 million deal with the Celtics, his father, Tito, made a statement back in Atlanta. The older Horford stated that the Hawks’ fans could not even fill up seats to watch their team win. Tito added that it was not a good motivation to his son and to the team as well.
“There wasn’t as much motivation for him when he saw all the empty seats when they were winning,” Tito Horford said. “He said to me, ‘Dad, when we were playing Boston, they were down 15 points and they were cheering their team like they were winning the game. They’re so into the game.’ This is special for us, especially for him.”
Al Horford denies the theories surrounding his departure from the Hawks. https://t.co/z9NSHyMPab
— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) July 12, 2016
The 30-year old Horford immediately refuted his father’s statements. He told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that he was upset with the statement his father made and that he apologized to the Hawks fans and clarified that the fans had nothing to do with his decision. He explained that his dad would come to his games and get frustrated, but stressed that his father’s frustrations do not reflect his decision to move to Boston.
“That made me really upset. I was angry when I heard about that because I never felt that way. I’ve been here a long time. I’ve actually gotten to know a lot of our fans, a lot of our season-ticket holders with the Hawks. They’ve always been great to me. I’ve always been very content and happy with the way they’ve treated me and my family. Parents are sometimes a little more passionate about their sons and daughters. I can relate because I have a son now. So my dad, with him, sometimes he would come to the games and get frustration. His frustrations don’t reflect on me with the fan base,” Horford explained.
A look at Al Horford's first day in Boston! pic.twitter.com/lzqN3abSty
— Boston Celtics (@celtics) July 11, 2016
He also cleared the air on the notion that he did not want to play with Dwight Howard. Horford stated that it is not about Howard either and stressed that his decision to leave was more of a financial move. He added that he has nothing against Howard and has all praises for the 12-year veteran.
“I don’t have a problem with Dwight at all. I think that he is a great player and he has a lot of ability and a lot of potentials. It has nothing to do with not wanting to play with Dwight. I don’t know if you remember but there was a time when I wanted to play power forward. With a guy like him, that would have been easier. It had nothing to do with Dwight. He’s a good guy,” Horford said.
Al Horford denies report he left Hawks because they signed Dwight Howard https://t.co/sst9txClGJ
— Kurt Helin (@basketballtalk) July 12, 2016
It is clear Horford wants to clear some bad air that has been speculated of him moving to the Celtics. With the explanations that he gave out, Horford believes everybody can move on from their end and start with a clean slate as training camps are coming up in preparations for the new season.
Photo Courtesy: Keith Allison/Flickr