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Al Horford

March 03, 2008
March 03, 2008

Table of Contents
March 3, 2008

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Al Horford

As told to Andrew Lawrence

HAWKS CENTER

This is an article from the March 3, 2008 issue

On the foul in which he leveled Toronto's T.J. Ford, shelving Ford for seven weeks with neck injuries
Definitely a bad idea. I was trying to get a block. It was a harder foul than I expected, and he had a rough fall because he wasn't able to get his arms out [to cushion his landing]. When I saw everyone come around him, I kind of freaked out.

On the aftermath
I went to the hospital [the next day] to make sure he was O.K. Right away he was like, "Hey, man, don't worry about it. It happens." Instead of me trying to console him, he was making me feel better.

On what he learned
It changed my approach. I have to stay aggressive, but there's a step-back as far as letting the play go sometimes. You have to pick spots.

On Ping-Pong
My teammates call me Forrest Gump. I'm pretty good. We had a tournament in the locker room, and I went undefeated for three weeks, until the championship game against [forward] Marvin Williams. The room was filled, and everyone was rooting against me, the top dog. It got to my head. Marvin won.

On tangling with veteran teammates
Even though I'm a rookie, I'm competitive. I'll speak up. Once in practice me and Josh Smith got into it because I didn't feel like he was going hard. I went at him in front of everyone. Afterward I was taking a shower, and he came in with a bucket of cold water and threw it over my head! He made his point.

On his three-year-old stepbrother, Chris
After practice I'll go to my mom [Arelis]'s house to hang out, and Chris wears me out! He's got a little hoop, and he shoots all the time. And all he wants to watch is the Gators' back-to-back championship DVD. I feel I learn something from him every day—it's ridiculous how much energy he has.

The NBA's top Eastern Conference rookie and two-time NCAA champ (as a Florida Gator) makes his points
PHOTOPHOTOGRAPH BY CHAD GRIFFITH