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Celtics’ Al Horford confirms he’s returning next season: ‘Year 18 is going to happen’

celtics’-al-horford-confirms-he’s-returning-next-season:-‘year-18-is-going-to-happen’
Celtics’ Al Horford confirms he’s returning next season: ‘Year 18 is going to happen’

Boston Celtics forward Al Horford, fresh off his first NBA Finals victory after 17 seasons, doesn’t understand why people think he might retire. 

Year 18 is a full-go. 

“Year 18 is going to happen. Yes, I am coming back,” Horford told Fox News Digital on Thursday, confirming what Celtics owner Wyc Grousbeck said after the franchise won its record-18th title

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Al Horford at Raising Cane's

Boston Celtics forward Al Horford surprised fans at Raising Cane’s in Boston after winning the NBA title (Raising Cane’s)

“I’m very excited. I really don’t know where people got that notion that I was going to stop playing. I feel really good. I’m very blessed to be in this position, and I will be back next year.”

Grousbeck told WEEI’s “The Greg Hill Show” that he was told Horfordwill be returning, and it makes sense considering he has one year left on the two-year $19.5 million contract he signed before the start of last season. 

Horford started all five Finals games, averaging seven points, 6.2 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 1.2 steals and 0.6 blocks over 30 minutes per contest to help Boston capture its first title since the 2007-08 campaign. 

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And during the regular season, the five-time All-Star provided quality minutes – either as a starter or bench player – with 8.6 points, 6.4 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.0 blocks per game. 

Horford, who will be 38 next season, also provides natural leadership that the Celtics have continuously praised him for. And after finally feeling what it’s like to win an NBA title, Horford is obviously looking to run it back in hopes the Celtics can stay on top. 

Horford spoke to Fox News Digital on his way into Boston’s Raising Cane’s location, where he will be surprising Celtics fans with a celebratory “shift” behind the counter. He said it’s his first time leaving the house, as he’s still in awe of what happened on Monday night after defeating the Dallas Mavericks in five games. 

Al Horford with peace sign behind Raising Cane's counter

Al Horford throws up peace sign behind Raising Cane’s counter (Raising Cane’s)

“You know, it’s starting to slowly sink in,” Horford explained. “If I’m being completely honest with you, I still can’t believe it. My kids, they keep watching it on TV. They have it on repeat – the championship, the celebration. I’m having a bunch of family over. They’ve been over all day, the past couple days we’ve been hanging out. We’re talking about it. 

“It hasn’t sunk quite in yet, but it’s just a great feeling that we’re living this right now.”

Horford also noted how important the championship was for his home country, the Dominican Republic

“The Dominican Republic is known for baseball, but the fact I’m able to do this in basketball and represent the country. It’s something that’s really special and gives a lot of people hope. People are very happy with it,” said Horford, who was born in Puerto Plata. 

Al Horford smiles with trophy

Al Horford, #42 of the Boston Celtics, celebrates with the Larry O’Brien Trophy after the game against the Dallas Mavericks during Game 5 of the 2024 NBA Finals on June 17, 2024 at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. (Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images)

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No one would fault Horford for wanting to walk off into the sunset a champion for his incredible NBA career. 

But as the late great Kobe Bryant once said, “Job’s not finished.”

Scott Thompson is a sports writer for Fox News Digital.

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