Big man Al Horford has played a dramatic role in the Boston Celtics’ run to the NBA Finals this year.
As a longtime reliable role player for the team in the paint, his defense and consistency has served as a stabilizing force for a very young team.
This week, the 36-year-old spoke to the media and revealed that one person really helped him elongate his career in a way he otherwise may not have.
Former Atlanta Hawks general manager Rick Sund.
“Rick is the one that told me, ‘Man, you have a really good mid-range. You should start shooting corner threes, that’s going to help extend your career,’” Horford told Chris Haynes of Yahoo! Sports. “I used to be a banger down low and posting up. He was like, ‘Man, you’re not going to last in this league if you keep playing like that.’ Rick Sund was the first to tell me.
“Coming into the league, I never imagined shooting the three-ball. I definitely was on edge at times when I began attempting threes in games. Players start looking at you’re crazy. You know how we are in the league, like, ‘Hell, nah. He’s trying to shoot threes?’ So it was that type of thing you had to deal with.”
Through his first eight years as a pro, Horford attempted just 65 total three-pointers. These days, those times seems like a distant memory. He now shoots from beyond the arc at a 36 percent clip – something the Golden State Warriors learned the hard way in Game 1 of their NBA Finals match-up against the Celtics:
Horford has a lot of people rooting for him to win his first chip this year.
It would really cement his career as someone who won at every level of basketball.
Katya Elise Henry exposes Tyler Herro’s cheating ways. https://t.co/Y3t6dXWVBA
— Game 7 (@game7__) June 4, 2022
Will he be able to do it?
Time will tell.