Column prepared by Josue Pavon for CLNS Media and CelticsBlog
When Al Horford managed to achieve success at such a young age, it set a precedent for his NBA career.
Before becoming a pro, Horford led the Florida University Gators to back-to-back NCAA championships. The impressive feat put things into perspective, he told CLNS Media’s Anna Horford on the latest episode of Horford Happy Hour, it helped shape him into the player he is today -- one of the league’s most dominant big men who couldn’t care less if his name isn’t always mentioned as one of the NBA’s greats.
”It seems like every since I got to the NBA, after success in college and winning championships, I feel like I really learned early that what makes me happy or what I want to be a part of is winning and being on teams that win or have a chance to compete and playing the right way,” Horford said. “I really don’t care about anything that’s being said. You always want to be the best that you can. It’s nice to be recognized but at the end of the day, I’m more concerned about winning.”
The Celtics have been struggling to string together wins of late, they’ve dropped five of their last eight games and with only four left in the regular season, Horford understands his team needs to find consistency if they plan on making a deep run in the playoffs.
For Boston, the effort has to be met on both ends of the floor.
”For our group, (have) to make sure that we’re really locked in on the defensive end to everything that we need to do,” Horford said. “We’ve been showing that on a more consistent basis these last few weeks. We’ve had our moments here and there but I do believe it’s important that we really focus in on defense. Just tying everything up on the defensive end and then offensively, I think it’s important that we continue to play with good pace and I think that if we continue to play with good pace, I think that will put us in the position that we want to be.
”I know that, obviously, we haven’t fulfilled expectations but we’re in the playoffs. We have an opportunity -- that’s what it’s all about.”
Tune in to the entire ‘Ask Al’ episode to find out more about Horford, including his favorite moment in Boston, his funniest teammate and who he thinks is the hardest working Celtics player.