Horford was able to return to Boston after all those hardships. The move was partially financial because the Celtics had to let go of Kemba Walker's lucrative contract. They also received Horford who will be returning to his old training ground with familiar faces.
Horford stated Thursday that it was "a little surreal, honestly," to be back. "Excited. "Excited.
Horford stated that the past two seasons were "a lot" of growth, with different teams moving around. Both the expectations and reality were very different. The 76ers were focused on the future and a title, while the Thunder were obsessed with the future and lottery balls.
Horford stated that there was some appreciation for Oklahoma City. Ineffectiveness was a problem during his time in Philadelphia, where there was a big man glut and the fit was not right for him. Horford's effectiveness and versatility were compromised, which led to him being traded one year into his four-year contract.
Horford played only 28 games in Oklahoma City but averaged 14.2 points and 6.7 rebounds per game. He stated that he was able rehabilitate himself and show that he is still a valuable NBA player.
Horford stated, "Really appreciate how special a place Boston is." "It's something I missed terribly, having been away from it, and seeing the kind of city it is, and what the team is all for, it was something that I really missed."
Some reports suggested that Horford was keen to remain in Boston after his disappointing first stint with the Celtics. The 2018-19 Celtics went through some drama and difficult times that culminated in a second round exit to the Bucks.
This is when Celtics like Horford, and Net Kyrie Irving (current Net Kyrie Irving) left free agency. Although Boston looked bright, its future was not as bright after those departures. However, the team's talent level suffered. Horford said that he is now back and feels like he can make a difference.
Horford stated that "it's one of the things that's past." It was disappointing how we ended two-years ago, with all those expectations and everything. I wasn't sure if I would get another chance or be able to stay in this job. Although things didn't go as planned, I now feel like we have a new beginning."
Many players from Horford's time are still part of the Celtics roster. After being traded to the C's, he said Jayson Tatum (and Robert Williams III) reached out to him to express their gratitude. As Williams can receive guidance and advice from the veteran, Horford-Williams will be worth watching.
Boston will continue to be a competitive team in the future and present. Two All-Stars are under 25 for the C's in Jaylen Brown and Tatum. It's all about elevating the players around them to make their lives easier. Horford, a versatile big who can play multiple roles, should be able to contribute to that goal.
Horford stated that this is where the real work begins. He said that the benefit of being traded now is that they have all summer to improve their game. Horford stated that he is fine because he took all of last season's time off, which should not limit his ability to perform next year.
Horford stated, "The first is to make sure that we are in the best physical and mental position for the season." It looks like we will have a regular season with a normal timetable. While I believe that this is important, I also believe that our team must put in the effort now to make it the best they can.