A two-season odyssey to Philadelphia and then Oklahoma City has left Al Horford pumped to be back in Boston for his second tour of duty with the Celtics.
Acquired from the Thunder (along with center Moses Brown) in exchange for Kemba Walker and a draft pick this past Friday, Horford took to Instagram to remind Boston that he’s back home and has ‘unfinished business’ with the Celtics.
A max-contract signing of the Celtics back in 2016, Horford spent three years with the Celtics, and earned All-Star honors and was named to the NBA All-Defensive Second Team with the C’s in 2018. Horford seemed to embrace his role as an accountable, veteran leader that the young Celtics needed, even with the addition of Gordon Hayward and Kyrie Irving.
But the 35-year-old Horford ultimately decided to opt out and leave for truly greener (*cash register noises intensify*) pastures on a four-year, $108 million deal with the Sixers, which turned out to be a gigantic flop for both sides.
Even before things went south with Horford and the Sixers, however, the 6-foot-9 big expressed what appeared to be some second thoughts about his decision to leave Boston, saying that he would’ve stayed had he known that the Celtics were going to replace Irving with Walker. Oddly enough, and because of course, the two were trade for one another less than two years later.
“Al played a critical role both on and off the court during his time in Boston, and we’re excited to welcome he and his family back to the Celtics,” Celtics president of basketball operations Brad Stevens said in a statement following the trade. “His ability to elevate teammates with his experience and leadership make for a great addition.”
Horford is returning to Boston with two years remaining on his current contract, and on the heels of a 2020-21 campaign that saw Horford average 14.2 points and 6.7 rebounds per game for the rebuilding Thunder.
Ty Anderson is a writer and columnist for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Yell at him on Twitter: @_TyAnderson.