breaking news

President Trump announces new travel ban barring visitors from eight countries

How will Horford be received in return to Atlanta?

Boston Celtics forward Al Horford smiles during a media availability at the team's practice facility, Friday, July 8, 2016, in Waltham, Mass. Horford agreed to a four-year, $113 million deal with the Celtics as an unrestricted free agent, ending nearly ten years with the Atlanta Hawks. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

Boston Celtics forward Al Horford smiles during a media availability at the team’s practice facility, Friday, July 8, 2016, in Waltham, Mass. Horford agreed to a four-year, $113 million deal with the Celtics as an unrestricted free agent, ending nine seasons with the Atlanta Hawks. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

Al Horford returns to Atlanta for the first time as a visitor on Friday.

How will he be received?

The long-time Hawks center spent nine seasons with team after they drafted him No. 3 overall in 2007. He led the Hawks to the playoffs ever year he wore the uniform upon arriving as a 21-year old from the University of Florida. The era ended when he and the Hawks could not come to terms and he left via free agency this summer for the Celtics.

Horford was a four-time All-Star with the Hawks. He played 578 games, having lost nearly two seasons to two separate torn pectoral muscles. He averaged 14.3 points and 8.9 rebounds with the Hawks.

I went through the lengthy list of Hawks’ all-time records. Here is where Horford ranks in several of those statistical categories:

2nd Field goal percentage (.535)

3rd 2-point field goal percentage (.545)

4th Effective field goal percentage (.543)

4th Defensive rebounds (3,767)

5th Value over replacement player (24.4)

6th Blocks (697)

7th Offensive rebounds (1,377)

8th Total rebounds (5,144)

8th Blocks per game (1.2)

9th 2-point field goals (3,435)

9th True shooting percentage (.570)

10th Field goals made (3,544)

10th Player efficiency rating (19.1)

10th Offensive rating (113.9)

11th Rebound average (8.9)

I will catch up with Horford either today or tomorrow about his return and share his thoughts about his return. His former teammates are already aware of the pending date on the schedule.

“Al is a good basketball player but, more importantly on top of that, he is a great guy off the court,” Paul Millsap said. “He did a lot in the community. He is a good friend to a lot of us. He is sadly missed. He is with a good team. It’s going to be good to see him come to Atlanta and play. Fans are excited about it. We are excited about it.”

I’m curious how you think Horford will be received. Cheered for his long-time successful run with the Hawks? Booed for wearing another uniform?

I hope the Hawks fan base will appreciate Horford for what he meant to the organization for many years and not let the business of basketball get in the way of all he accomplished here.


View Comments 0