Horford puts family first, and Celtics wholeheartedly agree


WALTHAM – Moving to a new city is never easy. 
Doing so while being pregnant makes it all the more challenging, something Al Horford’s wife Amelia knows all too well. 
That’s why Al Horford made it clear from the time he signed with the Boston Celtics that when the time came for their second child to be born, he was going to be there.
With dad on the scene, Alia Horford came into the world on Sunday while Al Horford remained with his family on Monday while the Celtics extended their road winning streak to four in a row with a 112-104 win over Miami.
“Family is very important,” Horford said following Boston’s practice on Tuesday. “For me, I’m in more of a unique situation. This is our first year here and my wife, going through all the moving in the middle of the pregnancy and just a lot going on. I just felt it was real important for me to be there for her, supporting her. We have a son as well. For her it’s been a lot thrown at her the past few months. I know it meant a lot to her for me to be there. I’m just really happy that the Celtics take the time to consider us not only as players but as people who have families.”
Horford’s decision to be with his family falls in line with the kind family-friendly culture that Brad Stevens has strengthened since he became the team’s head coach in 2013.
“Our greatest responsibilities are as sons, husbands, fathers; that’s your number one job,” Stevens said. “We’re thrilled for the Horfords. We’re thrilled to have Al back at practice today and ready to go tomorrow. Obviously family is really, really important.” 
Despite putting family first, there was still a segment of Boston fans who felt he should have played in the Heat game rather than be with his wife during the birth of their child.
“I don’t really read into anything,” Horford said. “I don’t read twitter stuff, radio; I just focus on the court, my job here and then off the court, my family. Everybody has their opinion. I respect anything that anybody has to say. I care a lot about the group, our guys. I was explaining earlier, for my family’s sake it was important for me to be there, with our transition and everything.”
With his health no longer an issue (he missed nine games due to a concussion) and now the birth of his daughter, Horford can focus on playing the game. 
And when he has been on the floor with the Celtics, there’s no mistaking the impact he has made on what matters most around here and that’s winning. 
Boston has a 5-2 record with Horford in the lineup compared to 5-5 when he’s not playing. 
In seven games this season, Horford has averaged 14.7 points, 6.9 rebounds and a career-high 5.1 assists per game while shooting 52.4 percent from the field and 37.5 percent from 3-point range. 

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