Former Philadelphia 76ers sharpshooter JJ Redick hosted former Sixers big man Al Horford on the March 30 episode of “The Old Man and Three” podcast, where Horford revealed one of the reasons why he originally signed with the Sixers in 2019 – believing he was going to play with Redick.
“We were almost teammates, Al. We were almost teammates. What could have been. What could have been,” Redick said. “Al and I ran into each other during the bubble…one of the things (Al) mentioned to me – (Al was) on Philly at the time – and I was like, ‘Al man, I wish I had gotten the chance to play with you,’ and you told me, ‘No, I was under the impression that you were gonna stay and that was part of the reason why I signed with Philly.'”
Horford confirmed the conversation with Redick and elaborated on why he was excited by the prospect of playing next to Redick on the Sixers.
“One of the things that I thought was going in there was that we were gonna be teammates. I love playing with guys that can shoot the ball. I played with Kyle Korver earlier in Atlanta. Thinking that I was going to be playing with you, I was pretty excited about that. It just didn’t work out.”
Instead of re-signing with the Sixers, Redick went on to sign with the New Orleans Pelicans that same summer. Horford spent only one season with the Sixers, averaging 11.9 points, 6.8 rebounds, and four assists, before being traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder the following offseason.
Al Horford’s Sister Say He Was Homesick in Philly
After Horford was traded back to the Boston Celtics in 2021, his sister, Anna Horford, revealed to Jared Weiss of The Athletic that Horford wanted to go back to the Celtics during his time with the Sixers.
“I tell people I think we fully manifested his return to Boston because we all wanted it so badly. We kind of put that out there,” Anna told Weiss. “Al has alluded to that, as well. He always was homesick for Boston when he was in Philly and when he was in Oklahoma. Somehow, the stars aligned, and we got back here, and it just worked out perfectly.”
While Horford was not a good fit with the Sixers, moving on worked out for both sides, as the Sixers managed to get off his deal, and Horford found his way back to the Celtics.
JJ Redick Warns Sixers May Face Major Changes
On ESPN’s First Take, Redick says that the upcoming playoff run for the Sixers could be a turning point for their future as a franchise, knowing their head coach’s reputation for blowing leads.
“This will be an inflection point this playoff run, this offseason with the Philadelphia 76ers,” Redick said. “Doc Rivers is one of a few coaches that have blown a 3-1 series lead. He’s the only one to do it multiple times, he’s done it three times.”
Redick then brought up some of the issues their two stars have had in the past, adding that if they don’t go further than they have in the past, they will have to make some changes.
“There’s been points in time in James Harden’s career, he’s certainly had some great series, where he has gone away the last couple games and not played to his standard and Joel Embiid — his injuries that you brought up,” Redick told co-host Jay Williams. “All these things, if they don’t get to at least the Eastern Conference finals, I think there is going to be probably some changes. This won’t be the same core group of people that come back next year in Philly if they don’t reach the conference finals.”