Pro tip: Don’t diss Celtics forward Al Horford on Twitter.
Not because the Celtics forward will get upset — he’s barely on social media — but because his 24-year-old sister, Anna Horford, is a fierce defender of her big brother and she likes to mix it up on Twitter.
Just ask WEEI yakker Lou Merloni, who recently called the C’s man in the middle “Average Al” and very quickly discovered that Anna has sharp elbows. She tweeted, “Lou Merloni wants to get the name . . . to stick. . . . Maybe he should stick to baseball to avoid sounding like an idiot.”
Anna lives in Michigan, where she and her four siblings grew up, but she still pays very close attention to what’s being said about the Celtics, and especially about her brother.
“It’s a pretty typical older brother-younger sister thing,” Anna told us Wednesday. “Al’s the oldest and he’s always played that big brother role. But we’re all very protective of each other, and that kind of plays into how I am on Twitter.”
How she is on Twitter is tough, opinionated, fiery, and funny. For example, when Al was with the Atlanta Hawks, she used to tweet, and none too nicely, about LeBron James and the Cavs, who knocked Atlanta from the playoffs.
Cavs fans keep calling Al my husband. He's my brother. Im sure that kind of thing is allowed in Ohio but it's frowned upon most other places— Anna Horford (@AnnaHorford) April 2, 2016
At the end of the day, we still don't live in Ohio so it's a good day— Anna Horford (@AnnaHorford) May 25, 2015
The saltier she is on social media, the more her following grows. Anna has picked up thousands of Twitter followers since her brother signed a 4-year, $113 million contract with the Celtics before last season. (She’s got 13,600 followers now.)
“My Twitter kind of boomed when Al signed with Boston because of the fan base there,” she said. “They appreciate brutal honesty, and that’s kind of what I bring to the table.”
She’s not kidding. When former porn star Mia Khalifa tweeted something idiotic in the immediate aftermath of Gordon Hayward’s gruesome injury — “I feel like Gordon Hayward was the sacrificial lamb to unite Boston and Cleveland for a minute before a civil war broke out” — Anna wasn’t having it.
The tweet received 42,000 likes and 11,000 retweets.
And when Merloni started calling her brother “Average Al,” Anna said she felt compelled to respond.
“I was kind of, like, I’ve never heard of the dude, but for someone who had a mediocre baseball career to be so judgmental of a sport he clearly doesn’t understand, that just kind of rubbed me the wrong way,” she said.
Her brother’s been a beast this season — Al’s averaging 15 points, 9 rebounds, and 4 assists per game — but Anna acknowledges he’s not “flashy” and sometimes “flies under the radar.” Still, she says Boston fans seem to appreciate her brother, and that’s all she cares about.
“You have to earn respect and loyalty in Boston,” she says. “I think he’s doing that. He’s trying to produce and I think people will appreciate that.”