Al Horford speaks out on OKC’s decision to end his season

Al Horford has no hard feelings with the Oklahoma City Thunder after the team announced they will sit him out for the rest of the 2020-21 campaign to open up minutes for its young frontcourt.

After having a long talk with the OKC management prior to the announcement, the five-time All-Star center made it clear he was at peace with the decision.

Per Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN on Saturday, Horford claimed he understands the need to give significant minutes to young players, especially for a Thunder team embracing a re-build.

Furthermore, Horford added that he knew this firsthand when he got traded to the Thunder in the offseason. The plan is for him to continue in mentoring the young players even if he’s no longer sharing the floor with them.

While Horford’s All-Star days are now behind him, he can still be a productive big on both ends of the floor, especially for contending teams. In 28 games for OKC, the 34-year-old Dominican put up 14.2 points on 45 percent shooting from the field and 36.8 from deep, along with 6.7 rebounds and 3.4 assists.

He recorded 13 points, eight rebounds, and six dimes in the Thunder’s loss to the Memphis Grizzlies, which also turned out to be his final game for the franchise. Both parties have agreed that Horford will be moved in the offseason, to a team where he gets a chance to contend for his first NBA championship. He will remain with the team and participate in practices to ensure he is physically ready when the move comes.

The decision to bench Horford, meanwhile, makes a ton of sense for Oklahoma City, given he’s the only true veteran remaining in that roster after they dealt George Hill at the deadline. OKC is now rolling the dice on the development of Darius Bazley and Isaiah Roby, while Moses Brown has been a surprise revelation for them as of late.

Nets, LaMarcus Aldridge, James Harden, Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving