Al Horford spent the last three seasons of his career with the Boston Celtics, and as he prepares to face off against them as a member of the Philadelphia 76ers, he admitted it will be weird to go up against his former team.
#Sixer Al Horford on playing @celtics in the opener: "It's going to be weird for me, different facing my former team. It's probably as good as a scenario as it can be. First game of the year we'll do it. Yeah. It's definitely going to be different. It's not just another game...— Keith Pompey (@PompeyOnSixers) October 20, 2019
After a season where the typically overachieving Celtics fell disastrously short of expectations, Horford opted out of his contract with Boston to enter the free-agent market. A reported 'mystery team' was offering him far more money than the Celtics were comfortable with given the near-guarantee of Kyrie Irving's departure at the time.
That team turned out to be the Philadelphia 76ers, the Celtics' biggest rival in the Eastern Conference and a team in which Horford gave fits due to his ability to shut down Joel Embiid on both ends of the floor. The Celtics tried to pull off a miraculous three-team sign-and-trade to secure both Horford and Kemba Walker, but the veteran big man put an end to that by agreeing to a four-year, $97 million contract with Philly the night of June 30.
The Celtics and Sixers will open their seasons in Philadelphia, so Horford's return to Boston and his reunion with the TD Garden faithful will have to wait. But it'll still feel incredibly weird to see Horford in a Sixers uniform, setting up Embiid for baskets instead of turning him away from them.
The Celtics, meanwhile, will have to figure out a way to counteract Philly's size in the frontcourt if they have any chance of beating such a talented Sixers team this upcoming Wednesday.
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