Summer break Horford style

Al Horford (right) is eager to get things started for the Hawks this season. He's already in town and working out in preparation for training camp, which begins Sept. 29.

Al Horford (right) is eager to get things started for the Hawks this season. He's already in town and working out in preparation for training camp, which kicks off Sept. 29.

HAWKSVILLE – In the pantheon of awards Al Horford has won during his basketball career, being named Monday’s MVP of the John “Beans” Beckett Invitational probably doesn’t rank anywhere near the top (some people are into NCAA titles and stuff like that I guess).

But that didn’t stop the Hawks third-year center from celebrating a little bit after receiving the word of the honor as the crowd left the floor at the Hawks’ practice court.

“Yes,” Horford shouted in between laughter as he pumped his fist into the air on his way to the locker room. “Being 4-1 on my first day back is what matters to me.”

Jokes aside, and there were plenty of them delivered on and off the floor Monday, Horford’s glad to be back. His summer has been filled with work-related travel and activity, a summer break that probably felt more like summer school in this case.

After playing eight games in 10 days with the Dominican national team in the FIBAS Americas tournament in Puerto Rico, Horford took just a few days off before returning to the grind with an assortment of his Hawks teammates and other pros in daily workouts on the track and court.

“I know this is a big season for us, a big year, and that’s what you have to do,” Horford said. “This is what you have to do. If you want to get better you have to put in the time. So I’m here just like the rest of these guys trying to get it done.”

Horford worked with a team comprised mostly of younger players Monday, teaming with Hawks rookie point guard Jeff Teague and training camp invitee Frank Robinson to stay on the floor (winning team stays on until they lose) for most of the day. His presence on the floor was beyond noticeable, as he worked over big men from the opposing two teams (mainly veteran center Randolph Morris and rookie free agent and training camp invitee Garret Siler).

As much fun as he was having Monday, Horford acknowledged that the stakes are dramatically different now compared to what he was doing as recently as last week in Puerto Rico.

“It’s a big difference between just pro basketball and when you’re playing against other countries,” he said. “It’s a big deal. There’s a lot of heart and a lot of emotion. It’s such a big deal. It’s a lot of fun. It’s different basketball, but a lot of fun.”

For Horford and the Hawks, the real fun begins in a couple of weeks with the start of training camp. And after back-to-back playoff seasons the expectations are sky-high. With added frontcourt help in the form of veterans Joe Smith and Jason Collins, Horford is feeling better than ever about the Hawks’ chances of living up to their newfound hype.

“I like what we’ve done,” Horford said. “I’m happy we were able to get both those bigs and with Zaza [Pachulia] and then Josh [Smith] and myself, i think we’re going to be good. I’m excited. I’m looking forward to getting everybody in here and training togtether so we can get our chemistry down and be ready to go from the start.”

210 comments Add your comment

Mystikal

September 15th, 2009
12:12 am

macaroni tony

September 15th, 2009
12:15 am

well second…

dooley

September 15th, 2009
12:15 am

The Hawks are going to surprise a lot of teams this year. EASTERN CONFERENCE FINALS baby……

Mystikal

September 15th, 2009
12:20 am

I can’t wait for the season to start. Wish I could get a glimpse of how all the new pieces are meshing, especially Teague. I don’t think anyone has seen Jamal Crawford up close and personal yet, but sure to be interesting. Glad to hear Al was putting in work. Going against the international players I imagine he played against some well skilled, high basketball IQ’s. Which he already has, but with Joe Smith and Collins in the fold he can get even better. How sweet it is…

Ariose

September 15th, 2009
12:22 am

Ariose

September 15th, 2009
12:23 am

Ariose

September 15th, 2009
12:28 am

Yessir!!! Cant WAIT to stick it to Wade and the Heat!!!

BTW, Sekou….Care to get a Mo Evans reacton to the events that transpired today due to certain crybabys/nerds? It’s only fair that Mo know some dude is singling him out on the Hardwood right? It’s times like this where I wish we still had our resident Goon: F(Dot)Murray sigh…he was perfect for jobs like these.

http://www.peachtreehoops.com/2009/9/14/1030060/72-reasons-to-be-excited-about-the

The Jazz have it coming their way too…..

Ariose

September 15th, 2009
12:30 am

Those two man…. Frick and Frak, I tell ya….

Mystikal

September 15th, 2009
12:31 am

Dwade still has his feelings hurt. Sure it’s hard to take ribbing from a lesser guy on a team that beat you. Oh well… LOL

doc

September 15th, 2009
12:49 am

Big Ray

September 15th, 2009
2:16 am

Ariose,

Wade can say what he wants. And he can say what he wants about Mo Evans. But I bet he won’t be saying too much when somebody reminds him of that time in a game last season, when he went to the rim, thinking he’d score and win the game. As I recall, he took flight, then he saw the shadow of a fearsome Bird of Prey. It all happened in slow motion for him, I bet. One minute he was flying towards the rim for the sure-thing dunk or layup. Next thing you know, Josh Smith swooped over him (and I mean OVER him), and that shot was gone.

Must have been how Carl Weathers felt in “Predator” when he tried to shoot the alien hunter and that mutha sucka came at him with those blades. Wade had about as much of a chance…. :twisted:

Big Ray

September 15th, 2009
2:18 am

I would love to see Al Horford become a 15 and 10 guy.

Clyde

September 15th, 2009
2:53 am

Ray I would love to see Horford become a defensive stopper.

Kayne West

September 15th, 2009
4:57 am

I be playin point guard dis yea.

vava74

September 15th, 2009
5:30 am

I’ve been very quiet lately, for several reasons:

1. I’ve been busy;
2. You fellow bloggers have provided quality entertaining reading;

and, most of all,

3. I am having difficulties typing anything remotely logic since I am still trying to wipe out my smile after reading what J-Smoove (and the rest of the gang) have been saying about their off-season and their expectations for next season…

I am about to go from being confident that we will crack the 50 win mark to believe that we will get to the 57/60 win level this year!!!

I can’t wait for day 1!

R

September 15th, 2009
7:44 am

16th. I mean really, who cares?!?!?!?

rainman

September 15th, 2009
7:47 am

Hey Sekou, did you get to watch Horford in the ‘Beckett’ invitational?
I was curious if he had time to hit the weight room with all the off-season activities he had scheduled. I know there are not that many talented large bodies at center, but two or three of them happen to be in our own division.

R

September 15th, 2009
7:48 am

I meant who cares about the order. You guys remind me of some of my kindergarten students. I am excited about the Hawks this season. However, they are still the 4th best team in the East. All they did was to close the gap (a few games) to the 3rd best team in the East. This way they avoid a sweep in the second round.

Elliot Garcia

September 15th, 2009
7:49 am

No college for Al this summer??

smartguy

September 15th, 2009
8:11 am

Sekou Smith

September 15th, 2009
8:14 am

Anyone trying to take what Mo said about Wade and Kobe and turn it into anything sinister is full of it. If anything, it was a sign of respect for two of the best players on the planet. But you can take a man’s words and twist them into a foolish pretzel of nonsense with Twitter. And no, I won’t fan the flames by soliciting a response from Mo.

I was there Monday rainman. Horford’s been working all summer. They all find time to work out in the summer. I don’t think there is any doubt about that.

Hay Maker

September 15th, 2009
8:19 am

Josh Smith is just a hi jumping guy Williams is not sure where he fits in onthis team and the Hawks need a point guard Bibby is not the answer anyone can hit a shot when the game is out of reach Joe Smith is as interesting as my big toe he is unable to take over a game and he is so laid back that it affects the rest of the team. Same old Hawks at the end of this season they will be saying wait until next year. Lenny Wilkens messed this team up years ago and they will never recover from it and I will never pay a dim to see them . Still mad after 15 years a judge told me a long time ago that this was not a good sign he was right.

The Truth

September 15th, 2009
8:23 am

Sekou

From what you have seen up to this point, what is your sense of the player’s impression of Siler?

jerrywest

September 15th, 2009
8:34 am

20th.

and wait till Crawford shows up and scores 50 on the practice squad.

jerrywest

September 15th, 2009
8:40 am

Mo is our 10th/9th man. He will get 5-10 minutes against Miami subs. Wade needs to worry about Collins who might break his leg when tries to drive on us. Collins could do that in 1 minute.

jerrywest

September 15th, 2009
8:41 am

Somebody tweet that to Wade.

donkeydawg

September 15th, 2009
8:52 am

so sekou, i guess you are saying Wade is full of it? he is the one that had his feelings hurt.

Sekou Smith

September 15th, 2009
9:01 am

That’s not what I amn saying donkeydawg. Yet another instance when someone’s words get twisted. Ha. I just don’t get why people love to take this stuff and turn it into something it isn’t. It’s a waste of time.

As for your question Truth, Siler has only been around the vet’s for one day (yesterday). My guess is that it will take a little more time for them to form any opinions on the big fella. Everyone agrees on one thing … he’s a big dude.

Ariose

September 15th, 2009
9:07 am

Yeah, I guess hes just a lil bitter. But It’s really just uprofessional…Cryin’ just like he does to the refs…

donkeydawg

September 15th, 2009
9:14 am

i agree it is dumb to turn it into something its not. and this really isn’t anything. don’t think it deserves newspaper space. but i find it widely entertaining. twitter brings people close to the athletes. and it is funny to me that Wade would even comment about something the 8th man said about lifting weights.

the world is getting is smaller. but this might just be a sign that i have no life :)

donkeydawg

September 15th, 2009
9:15 am

plus it is sept. Us NBA fans are dying here!

Ariose

September 15th, 2009
9:19 am

Sekou, I hear ya. Like I said, I let that Heat Fan have it who started this whole mess. I know Wade and Mo have done Converse events together in the past when they were both signed to them(wase is with Brand Jordan now) I figured Mo could just contact him and clear the air. I guess not. The playoffs must have really made him bitter. I know Mo and Wade had a few words and scuffles in the series’ but I didn’t think It was serious. I just dont want Wade coming at Mo with any kind of sinister intentions on the court(but I guess that’s the refs department……If they don’t get locked out this season ;-) )

But can you beleive Deron Williams? What a kid. Remeinds me of some punks I knew back in gradeschool 8-O Anyway, plenty of Hawks Fans let Wade know that he proabaly read the statemnts wrong, and that it would probbl take a 60 point effort for him to single handedly beat us next season, ’cause he still doesn’t have any help lol….Quinten Richardon Hah!!!!

Ariose

September 15th, 2009
9:23 am

*Wade not wase lol…

newkid

September 15th, 2009
9:25 am

Sekou, thanks for taking the rational approach by avoiding the seeming epidemic of attempting to ‘make the news’ as opposed to ‘observing news’ when it occurs. Wayward and perverted attempts to make the news have so perverted many of those in your profession, some of those of us in the world of blogs and tweets have rather blindly taken to mimicry. I commend you for refusing – in this instance – the requests by others to contribute to the madness. Keep it up.

ILL-logical

September 15th, 2009
9:25 am

Sekou,
What’s the stautus of Mo-the other one:Momentum regarding the club at this point? Is there a palable sense that ,in the words of the Greenville Guy-our time is now?

doc

September 15th, 2009
9:27 am

r if you let that bother you you are at about the level of an impetuous kindergartner.

mo is our 11th man if things work as planned. funny folks forget how quickly d wades go is bruised when he pouted at a walk on named west stiffed him and celebrated. didnt wade get excited a few times in his career when he was put in a spot and delivered? let wade expend his energies trashing out 11th man. you just wont see him trash josh though. heh heh, the cat would bring down the house all over him and he knows it. d wade talking baby talk.

macaroni tony

September 15th, 2009
9:28 am

Ariose,

I feel you. The Hawks was the league’s punching bag for years, but now when people see that you can’t just push us around they take things personal. We should have beat the heat in five games if we were more healthier, but I can take the fact that we made it to the second round. Now we have more beef in the middle, and we have more scoring power. I love this month for sports, because every sports league is gearing up to rumble. I hope that Wade is ready to to bring the funk, because It’s ON: Go Hawks

macaroni tony

September 15th, 2009
9:37 am

We need another wing also on this team, we only have MW and Mo. Who could we get that want break the bank? I like GGreen. That would be another high flyer just like JS. Any thoughts?

rms

September 15th, 2009
9:38 am

Ariose

September 15th, 2009
9:56 am

Ray & Doc, ROFL!!! Wade sure knows ho to “choose” his battles doesn’t he? Apparantly Wade skipped pre-school where they teach youm manners and how to respect you elders…er…opponets heh. If his comments were for Josh Smith, I think we’d all be slaivating at this point waitng for the ensuing dunk-fest.

Tony, I agree. We should’ve taken care of them earlier, but those darn injuries man. This month has really been excitng for sure. I was really wanted Buffalo to get that W last night though, oh well.

It’s funny how people forget that just ten years ago we were a consistant playoff team. It baffles me that the Hawks were associated with that (The NBA’s version of Siberia) label so quickly. It’s all good though, ’cause were about o run through the Leauge like never before.

Ariose

September 15th, 2009
10:00 am

Tony, I like GGreen also, I don’t know whats going to happen though. Some seem to think that wemay sign stackhouse, who seems to have founda fountain of youth momentarily lol.

rms, You’ve just won a new plasma flat-screen HD Television!!! Give it up for #37 everybody!!!!! ;-)

BYC

September 15th, 2009
10:03 am

I’m excited at Josh’s quote from the other article, seems like he is finally gonna figure things out and take it to another level this year:

“I wanted to work more on my decision-making than anything. I handle the ball so much on the fast break and in transition that I wanted to make sure I’m thinking the game the way I need to be. I also worked on my handles and knocking down that mid-range jumper. I’m really not worried about the 3-point ball right now. We have so many guys on this team that can make that shot.”

Ariose

September 15th, 2009
10:04 am

and wait till Crawford shows up and scores 50 on the practice squad.

Ha! Yeah, thats what we wanna see!!!

Dos Hawkquis

September 15th, 2009
10:10 am

SEKOU,

I was reading MJ transcripts of his acceptance speech into the HOF. He was notorious for taking another players words and twisting it to motivate himself.

Obviously, DWade is doing the same thing.

“I don’t always watch basketball, but when I do, I prefer the Hawks. Stay thirsty my friends!”

macaroni tony

September 15th, 2009
10:11 am

If we sign SHouse then this would be a team that will crack the 3rd spot in my opinion. We are going to shock the world: It’s ON Go Hawks!

jerrywest

September 15th, 2009
10:11 am

Well, Josh has passed the denial stage.

That’s a major step whether he completely recovers or not.

I MUS WRITE

September 15th, 2009
10:17 am

I would like to see Horford get more touches. I would like to see Woody utilize the weapons he’s been given proficiently. Mo is bulking up huh? Can we put some lifts in his shoes as well because he’s still 6′5 and a defensive liability against most SF….. He is not a SG atleast not by the depth chart.

So ahhhm…… Nirmental and Ariose were band geeks in high school i see- hahahahahaha! Bach,Mozart,Bethoven LMAO

We’z Cultured now…..LOL

Sekou-gotta give it up to Big Blue, they looked good Rich Rod has got those guys playing with attitude and passion.I must admit that I wuz routing for ND but im glad Big Blue is back to national respectability. Defense looked except for 33 – He looked horrible against Floyd…throw after throw going his way -no respect at all. Torschier is the real deal- that yung’n has sum wheels and is crazy cool under pressure.

Nir/Salim fan ……just for the record there is noting cool about playing the flute in the marching band …What else are yall hiding- Flag Team, Majorettes, Spirit Team Well Dam!!!!

O Randolph Morris is a jug of 3 month old jug of spoiled milk
” ” ” a strippers G string after hours of twerking
” ” ” a boat full of haitian refugees
” ” ” A bag of my old BDU’s after a 2 week feild exercise
” ” ” The smell of my socks after a 12 mile road march

Just Putrid is what im say’n yall……GOOD DAY

PD

September 15th, 2009
10:18 am

Sekou,are the Hawks going to sign Stackhouse or he is just passing through waiting to be invited to a camp from any team like Anthony Johnson is doing?

macaroni tony

September 15th, 2009
10:19 am

I don’t thank that JS should not keep trying to shoot three pointer on the practice floor. A lot of players learn how to shoot later in their careers. Hell Shaq is still learning to shoot free throws, the reason why I said that is because we made need that shoot from JS at point in the season. I just think for now that he should be more of a banger in the hole. If you do then he will be a 20-10 player.

I don’t care for players like Wade, Deron, Lebron, because they really think that they’re untouchable. But what JJ did to him in game seven made him look really small. It’s On: Go Hawks

youngstar from atlanta

September 15th, 2009
10:26 am

The hawks are gettin ready for the next step in the process. Every year we have gotten better. What the hawks need to do is pick up a sf(Gerald Green or someone with athleticism and can score ) to be complete. If you look at it we have added depth to every position except sf. I love Marvin but we can’t wait. Mo Evans too one dimensional. Just someone to stretch the offense off the bench