Al Horford is a tough player on the court, but the Boston Celtics forward also owns one of the more embarrassing habits in all of basketball.
Ever since Horford entered the NBA, he’s had a tendency to dramatically flinch at free-throw attempts that deflect off the side of the rim. While Horford’s flinch makes it look as though he’s afraid of getting hit by the basketball, it appears this odd quirk is done on purpose.
Ahead of the Celtics’ matchup with the Milwaukee Bucks on Tuesday, Horford explained that his now-famous flinch simply is a way of keeping his teammates loose.
“I just try to keep it loose sometimes for the guys,” Horford said, per Celtics.com’s Taylor Snow. “The game is so serious at times ? and I take it very serious ? but there are times that you put things in perspective. That?s something I?ve been doing for years. I kinda stopped doing it. The other night I was just messing around. I just started doing it. I don?t think I?ve done it very much this year. This might be the second or third time. A lot of the times I just try to get a laugh out of the guys, my teammates on the bench. That?s kinda what I go for. I?m sure people are curious. Now they know.”
It’s kind of a bummer that Horford is coming clean about this, as it would be pretty hilarious if a seasoned league veteran lined up for free throws in fear.