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Al Horford's Return To Boston Tomorrow Is Going To Be A Big Time Mindfuck

With Kawhi Leonard returning to Toronto for the first time tonight, it made me think of what's about to go down tomorrow night with Al Horford making his first appearance at the Garden as a member of the Philadelphia 76ers. We all know how things went when Kyrie dodged his first time back in BOS, and it made me think about what might happen with Big Al. Let's just get this out of the way first, he's getting a tribute video. You can take this to the bank. If Kelly Olynyk and Isaiah Thomas got one, Al Horford is getting one too. The Celtics are doing everything they can to give off the perception that they aren't mad about the departures of Kyrie and Horford and they aren't going to do anything that could ruin their reputation among players moving forward. So just accept that he's going to be getting one and let's keep going.

There's no denying that tomorrow is going to be an emotional mindfuck. Even with how good the Celts have looked this season, this is still going to be weird. Al Horford was the first big time free agent that ever chose to come to Boston pretty much in my lifetime, so he'll always have a special place in my heart. He was everything you could have wanted in terms of a teammate, a professional, and most importantly he stepped up his play in the postseason in a big way. Because of that, I don't think I can bring myself to slander him but you also have to look at the facts. Celtics fans hate Kyrie because of the bullshit he pulled during the year, and then ultimately quitting in the playoffs and leaving. Fair. But at the same time Al Horford looked Ainge in the eyes and told him he basically didn't think your young core was good enough and left to go to a division "rival". Yes, they dumped a shit ton of money on his lap that someone at his age couldn't pass up, but he came out and said he thought they were closer to a championship. Whether that's actually true or not isn't really the point, the fact that he chose them over you is going to rub some people the wrong way. 

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Which begs the question, does he get the Kyrie treatment tomorrow? It's a very weird spot because on one hand he was a great Celtic, but on the other hand if he truly believed in your young talent he's probably still in Boston. To then go to the Sixers of all places is a kick to the dick no matter how you slice it. Isn't that worse that Kyrie going to BKN? Like whatever, he's a weird dude that clearly did more harm than good so if he wanted to "go home" even though he's from New Jersey then whatever. I'm more mad about his MIL series than him leaving anyway. Maybe the perception of Al is different because he never pulled all the drama during the year, but he bounced on this team pretty much in the same fashion as Kyrie. They both didn't think the Celtics were good enough. If this were anyone else, wouldn't they get killed in their first appearance back in Boston? 

If it's me, I'm cheering for Al during the tribute video, but then after that he's a Sixer and should be treated accordingly. If that means booing the shit out of him then so be it. It was a good 3 years with a lot of great moments, but he's the enemy now as weird as that still is to wrap my brain around. 

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