Al Horford, Sam Presti release statements about shutting down the veteran center

The Oklahoma City Thunder announced on Saturday that center Al Horford would not be active for the remainder of the season.

Horford has played in four of the eight games since the All-Star break and just two of the last six. The team had planned to shut him down at some point, but with the injury to Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Oklahoma City elected to do so earlier, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski first reported and head coach Mark Daigneault later confirmed.

Shortly after the news broke that Horford would be benched for the team to create more time for younger players to get on the court, general manager Sam Presti and the veteran center released statements.

RELATED: Thunder shut down Horford | Rotation expectations post-deadline

Here are both statements in full:

General manager Sam Presti

“We’ve talked with Al from the time he became a member of the Thunder this offseason about the many ways in which he would be able to help us as we entered the early stages of the necessary transition of our team. From day one Al has been a consummate professional and has had a tremendous influence on the team on and off the floor with his work ethic and total commitment to his teammates. Our conversations have been open and ongoing about how to maximize this season for him personally as well as the development of our team. Al has been nothing short of spectacular and will remain a part of the team as we build on an approach and mentality that we have taken for some time.”

Center Al Horford

“When I arrived, I understood the direction of the team, we had a great individual plan in place for me, and I feel like as a result I’ve played really good basketball for the Thunder. At the same time, I know what it’s like to be a young, aspiring player, and at this point in the season I understand how important playing meaningful minutes is for their careers and their development. I also understand how important it is for the organization to give them that opportunity. I’m looking forward to supporting the guys who supported me, watching them continue to play the right way and play together as we have throughout the season, while still being around the team and continuing my training.”

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source https://sports.yahoo.com/al-horford-sam-presti-release-233222781.html?src=rss

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