Al Horford didn’t take his decision to leave the Hawks to join the Celtics lightly, former teammate Kyle Korver tells Chris Vivlamore of The Atlanta Journal Constitution. “It was really hard for him to leave,” Korver said. “It was. He had a lot of life set up in Atlanta. He’d been there a long time. His family was all there. He’s got tons of great relationships in the community and in the organization. It was a tough decision for him. I don’t know if I ever thought he was leaving or not. I just knew he was looking at all his options. I encouraged him to look at all his options. I was like ‘Dude, this is your first time being a free agent. Obviously you know that I want you back and we all want you back. But look and see what’s there.’ I think that is the right thing to do. You want to feel good about coming back if that is your decision. Obviously we really wanted him to come back. He made his decision.”
“I think we are all a little surprised,” Korver said of Horford’s deal with Boston. “I think we were all hoping that it was going to work out, that he would come back. Al has been a cornerstone of the franchise for a lot of years. He’s been an amazing player and an amazing teammate and a great leader. We are going to miss him. But it’s a business. It’s his decision. We wish him the best. Grateful for all the memories and games and accomplishments that we had with him.”
Here’s more from the East:
- Lithuanian forward Mindaugas Kuzminskas, who agreed to a two-year deal with the Knicks earlier today, has been compared by some European scouts to a number of notable NBA big men, Marc Berman of The New York Post writes. One overseas scout told the scribe that Kuzminskas has “Danilo Gallinari skills’’ and is a good defender, while another said his game resembles a young Dirk Nowitzki’s in style, if not in quality.
- The Knicks’ primary competition for Kuzminskas’ services were the Hawks and Lakers, Berman tweets.
- There are conflicting reports on whether or not the Nets and restricted free agent Allen Crabbe agreed to an offer sheet, with the two sides set to meet again today. But regardless if an offer has been made yet, Portland missing out on adding Pau Gasol may increase the likelihood that the Blazers match any offer Brooklyn were to submit, Tom Lorenzo of NetsDaily writes.