The first words to come out of Al Horford’s mouth when he found out Blake Griffin retired Tuesday came as no surprise.

It seems like every member of the Boston Celtics felt this way about Griffin.

“Great teammate,” Horford told reporters, per NBCS Sports Boston. “Everybody here, we love Blake.”

Like some of his teammates, Al Horford wanted Griffin on the Celtics roster this season. Instead, Griffin called it career.

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The six-time All-Star, who spent the 2022-23 campaign with the Celtics, announced his retirement on social media following 13 seasons playing in the NBA. Griffin was out of the league this season.

“There was like a long hope that maybe he was going to be around in some way,” Horford said. “Just a lot of good memories with him.”

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Griffin was a much bigger locker room presence than on-court figure during his quick stop with the Celtics. He averaged 13.9 minutes in 41 games, tallying 4.1 points 3.8 rebounds and 1.5 assists per contest. He played just six minutes throughout Boston’s playoff run to the Eastern Conference finals.

But Horford and the Celtics still felt his impact.

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“The year that he was here, he made it enjoyable for me,” Horford said. “It was fun to come into work with him every day and getting to talk to him and getting to know him with some of the things off the court and him as a person. Just a great guy.”

Horford outlasted Griffin in the NBA as the Florida product was drafted two years before Griffin went No. 1 overall to the Los Angeles Clippers.

After sitting out his first season due to injury, Griffin took the NBA by storm with his high-flying capabilities. He was an All-NBA selection five times and when he lost some of his athleticism later in his career, he adapted by bring his game beyond the 3-point line.

Griffin sure put together a memorable career, one which Horford believes should be recognized with the ultimate honor.

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“Definitely a Hall of Fame player with everything that he’s accomplished,” Horford said. “I’ll make sure that I reach out to him. At some point we’ll celebrate. He had an unbelievable career.”

Featured image via Brian Fluharty/USA TODAY Sports Images