A bad night cometh for Horford
We're all done shootaround just now and the topic du jour?
Al Horford, of course.
By all accounts Horford is a fine young man, respectful, a hard-nosed pro basketball player who is likely in for some grief tonight.
As you know, it was Horford who – quite absent of malice – knocked T.J. Ford to the court and to the hospital the last time the Atlanta Hawks met the Raptors and the teams will meet again here tonight. It promises to be something special.
"We just have to use that to our advantage,” Chris Bosh said of the hostile reception Horford is likely to receive. “The fans are going to come out to see it, they’re going to be really up for the game and I hope they’re going to be booing a lot to help us out.”
"He’s not perceived as a dirty player or anything, he’s just a hard-nosed guy that plays hard. He seems to be a good rookie. It’s kind of tough for him but that’s the nature of this business. Sometimes even though you do do some things unintentionally, they act like you did it (on purpose).”
Horford’s immediate acts of contrition – he apologized profusely, spent a couple of hours at the hospital with Ford right after the Dec. 11 game – are another reason none of the Raptor players are going to try to exact any revenge.
"I don’t think anybody else on the team is thinking about it,” said Anthony Parker. “Again, I don’t think there was anything malicious or anything done with intent to hurt T.J. on that play. It was just unfortunate. The motivation to win is still there but it’s not because of that incident.”
Ford won’t be at the game, he’s back in Houston working out, but he’s made his peace with Horford. And that should be enough, said Toronto coach Sam Mitchell.
"Everybody understands it was an unfortunate accident that happened a month and a half ago,” said Mitchell. “All players are disappointed when another player gets injured but that’s just part of the game some times.
"It was an accident, the young man went and apologized, spent two hours at the hospital and if T.J. Ford is okay with it, then the rest of us should be okay with it.”
Horford has an idea of what's coming, too. Check out Cousin Sekou is today's Atlanta Journal-Constitution.