Eastern Conference leaders, the Celtics recorded good news this week with the extension of Al Horford, for an amount of 20 million dollars over the next two seasons.
Its formalization was an opportunity for both parties to affirm their mutual respect. For the pivot, there was no question of waiting for this summer and the opening of free agency to seal his future.
« It’s something that had to happen at some point. There are different things the team had to deal with. There wasn’t really any urgency per se, but I wanted to make sure it didn’t drag on until free agency and the summer and all that stuff. We were just waiting for the time to come to sort it out and focus on the season. »thus confided the player on the sidelines of the reception of the Heat this night.
Stability, competitiveness, atmosphere…
It is under the green and white jersey that Al Horford has had its greatest adventures in the playoffs, with two conference finals in its first two seasons (2017 and 2018) and of course this incredible journey to the NBA finals in the summer. last, lost to the Warriors. His two years away from Massachusetts, in Philadelphia and then Oklahoma City, convinced him that this group around Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum and Marcus Smart was special.
“I really wanted to be part of what we have here. I felt when I came back last year the progress the band started to make and we continued to make progress in the right direction.”he pointed out. « I feel like there’s a real goal to try and win and the group we have is just a really good group. So I’m happy. We know we have a lot of work to do. But that kind of stability is hard to find.”
Enough to comfort the interested party in his choice to stay in Boston, as also confirmed by this start of the 2022/23 financial year, with the prospect of (finally) winning the title in his sights.
“One of the things we want more than anything is to be in a place where you have a chance to fight (for the title) and win. Boston is a place that, for me, goes beyond basketball. In Boston, I feel a real connection with the people and with what the Celtics are. It’s something that really got me excited. And the fact that I have this opportunity and that Brad (Stevens) believes in me and brings me back here is something special. I am truly grateful for this opportunity,” he notably concluded.