June 27, 2022

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Celtics’ Al Horford set a record for most play-offs played without appearing in the Finals

Celtics' Al Horford set a record for most play-offs played without appearing in the Finals

Al Horford after the match

Al Horford discusses his feelings after Boston’s Game Seven victory over Miami.

Al Horford is in the Finals having played more post-season games before getting there than anyone in NBA history.

The veteran Celtics center scored 141 playoffs without progressing to the conference finals, a league record that was finally broken after Boston. 7 victory game over Miami on Sunday.

When the last bell sounded, Horford immediately overcame the long-awaited moment. The 15-year-old veteran collapsed to the ground and screamed repeatedly, hitting hardwood before rising to be embraced by his Celtics teammates and crew.

The All-Five Star has missed the playoffs only twice since Atlanta drafted him for third in 2007, but he came in with one short streak with the Hawks (once) and the Celtics (twice) in his deepest runs of the post-season.

“It’s been an amazing ride,” Horford admitted. “Lots of fights. I obviously couldn’t get it at all [until now]but a lot of wonderful fellows along the way.”

Boston reclaimed Horford’s acquisition via trade last season, and the 35-year-old’s defense, size and drive ended up being exactly what the franchise needed to return to the Finals for the first time since 2010.

“When he came back, he gave us a sense of security,” said Celtics goalkeeper Marcus Smart. “He is selfless. You couldn’t care less about numbers. He cares about wins and his team.”

“No one deserves it more than this guy to my right,” added Celtics striker Jaylen Brown. “I am proud to be able to share this moment with a veteran, mentor, brother, and man like Al Horford.”

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In addition to getting rid of his streak in the finals, Horford also became the first player to represent the Dominican Republic in the finals, a fact he celebrated enthusiastically as he vacillated between Spanish and English when asked about the achievement.

“Here in Miami we’re very close to DR,” Horford said. “I know my family is happy. Everyone is happy, everyone is watching. The state was watching, I know everyone was there. They were sending me pictures. They were ready for this. We are enjoying this.”