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Old 02-09-2011, 01:04 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Horford's dad begging Sund to get a C

Have you ever seen or heard a 7-foot-1, 270-pound man beg? Stand near Tito Horford the next time he picks up the telephone to call the Hawks front office.

Ive been begging [general manager] Rick Sund and the Hawks for the last three years please get a center so my son can pay his normal position, the elder Horford said Tuesday from his home in the Dominican Republic. He cant push guys out of the box like I could. If he moved to forward, he would have a longer career.

We suspected Al Horford would be a great NBA player. We watched him play on two national championship teams at Florida. It follows that when the Hawks drafted him third overall in 2007, we were overcome with the rarest of Hawks draft-day sensations: comfort.

But what has been stunning is that Horford has turned into an impact player at the wrong position. He just made the NBAs Eastern Conference All-Star team for the second straight season as a center.

Granted, this isnt the 1970s or 80s and the NBA isnt well-populated with dominant centers. Horford, at 6-10, 245, hardly captains the Lollipop Guild. But he still is playing out of position and succeeding only because of his sheer will, determination and talent.

How good would he be as a power forward?

Hed be a beast, coach Larry Drew said.
Horford was injured Friday in Los Angeles when he was knocked to the ground by Blake Griffin. Drew said, I didnt even think he would be able to get up to shoot the free throws. He did.

How long can he hold up like this? Horford said, I dont see myself playing center the rest of my career.

His father, Tito, was a center (in college at LSU and Miami and later for three years in the NBA). Hes familiar with the banging that goes on in the lane. Horford has learned it the hard way.

My dad was built for this, he said. It takes a toll on your body when youre going against guys that outweigh you by 50, 60 pounds every night and have three, four inches on you.

I feel pretty good now. But I wonder how Ill feel a couple of years from now.

Then came this novel idea: I like playing against guys my own size.

Imagine how good he would be then.
LINK - AJC.com
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