Al Horford

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Celtics upset, claim 76ers tampered with Al Horford

Andrew Porter
July 19, 2019 - 1:47 pm

Just another notch on the Sixers-Celtics rivalry belt, here. 

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Speaking on the Hoop Collective podcast with Jackie MacMullan and Tim MacMahon, ESPN's Brian Windhorst says the Celtics were unhappy with teams, in their eyes, illegally tampering with former Boston center, now Philadelphia's, Al Horford. 

“The Celtics were, from what I am told, one of the teams that kind of stomped their feet with what they thought was tampering,” Windhorst said. “What happened with Horford—from what I am told—really upset the Celtics. They were thinking they were going to be able to negotiate with him, talk to him about a new contract and all of a sudden it was like, he already knew what his market was and what was out there.”

MacMullan explained how NBA tampering happens all of the time. 

“We all know how this works, everybody tampers. How was it that Kemba Walker all of a sudden was going to the Boston Celtics? Shenanigans," MacMullan said. "They had their chance with Al Horford.”

The Sixers signed Horford to a four-year contract worth $109 million, taking away the five-time all-star from one of their top Eastern Conference foes in the process. 

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver recently talked about the broken system of free-agency in the NBA, when it comes to tampering. 

“The one strong conviction I have is that we should not have rules that are not strictly enforced,” Silver said. “And we know that’s the case right now. And whether that’s by virtue of practice, whether it’s because just the world around us has changed, whether it’s because players have power that they didn’t use to have—let’s step back, let’s reset, let’s talk to our players’ association about what system makes sense going forward.”

Horford spoke about joining Philadelphia last week. 

"I felt like there was going to be a lot of options for me and when June 30th came around, things escalated very, very quickly," Horford said during his introductory presser with Philadelphia. "There were multiple teams and a lot of strong interest."

Last season, Horford averaged 13.6 points, 6.7 rebounds, 4.2 assists while shooting 53.5 FG% / 36.0 3FG% / 82.1 FT%.