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The Hawks miss Brand too. They have been inconsistent this season and one could point to the absences of his leadership and toughness as one reason. “He is going to bring (leadership to the 76ers) in multitudes of hundreds or thousands,” Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer said. “He’s one of the most incredible leaders I’ve ever been around. And as a person. To have person like that in your locker room every day, in your practice every day, on your bench every day, I think it’s huge value. It was a move that made sense for both of them. For the organization, it’s a really smart move. For Elton, to decide he wanted to get back and help the Sixers organization and help these young players and give back speaks a lot to his character and what kind of guy he is.”
Hawks Director of International Scouting Himar Ojeda is leaving the organization for a position with German team Alba Berlin. The team issued the following joint statement from Head of Basketball Operations/Head Coach Mike Budenholzer and General Manager Wes Wilcox Thursday evening: “On behalf of the Hawks organization, we want to congratulate Himar Ojeda on his new position with Alba Berlin. Personally and professionally, we are thankful for the significant contributions and tireless commitment Himar made to the Hawks as our Director of International Scouting. We’d like to wish Himar the best and congratulate Alba on an outstanding hire.”
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Al Horford knows his name is being mentioned in the trade speculation so prevalent at this time of the season. The Hawks center doesn’t concern himself with such talk. “I think my priority and my focus is on the team and to keep play and do what I do,” Horford said Wednesday morning before the Hawks played at the 76ers. “This is my team. I feel like Atlanta is my home so my focus is on the team. I’m not going to pay attention to all of that.”
Storyline: Al Horford Trade?
“I haven’t heard anything from the organization,” he said. “For me, my priority is to focus on the team. My task is in front of me.” Horford is in his ninth season with the Hawks after joining the team as a 21-year old following being drafted No. 3 overall in 2007. This is the first time he’s had to hear his name involved in trade rumors to such an extent. “Honestly, no,” Horford said when asked if he is bothered by such talk. “I don’t really read any of the stuff. I’m sure there is a lot of speculation going on but I learned, early in the league since I got here, to leave all the media outlets alone.”