Al Horford decided to leave a contending team in Boston because he saw a better opportunity for a championship with the Sixers, writes Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. Philadelphia enters camp among the favorites to win the NBA title, and Horford will serve as a veteran presence in an impressive starting lineup that also features Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, Tobias Harris and Josh Richardson.
“The opportunity to win, I am going in my 13th season, that is important to me,” Horford said. “I feel we have an opportunity to win now and that was something that was hard for me to pass.”
Horford seemed like part of the foundation in Boston, but he surprised the Celtics by opting out of the final year of his contract and agreeing to a four-year, $109MM agreement with a bitter rival. He said the experience of leaving Atlanta for Boston three years ago helped him prepare for the adjustment of changing teams.
“I have done this before, so for me it is a little easier, the transition,” Horford said. “Another side of it can be overwhelming with all that comes with being on a new team and building relationships and getting to learn the city and all these things.”
There’s more from Philadelphia:
- With a new five-year extension in hand, Simmons is ready for a fresh start to his NBA career, which includes ignoring critics who harp on his jump shot or anything else, relays Marc Narducci of The Philadelphia Inquirer. Simmons spent the last few months trying to fix his errant jumper and said he fell in love with the game again during the offseason. “I think I was too worried about what people were saying, what was going around, too many outside noises,” he said. “I was able to really block them out this summer and not really focus on what people were saying.”
- Mike Scott admits to poor judgment when he fought with Eagles fans after showing up to the team’s opening game in a Redskins jersey, relays ESPN.