So, unless you’ve been under a rock you know we signed Gordon Hayward a little over a week ago to a max deal. He’ll be be that pure scorer we desperately needed to take pressure off IT and keep the points coming, from a bigger man at that. He’s not Durant or Curry or anyone like that but he’ll get buckets and that’s really all we care about him doing for the most part (more on that in a second).
What’s just a teeeeensy tiny bit worrisome is that since the signing two of his former teammates, one of whom wasn’t even on the Jazz last year, have come out with some, in the least not-positive things to say about Hayward and his switching teams. In and of itself this isn’t anything to really take a deeper look at, there’s always going to be teammates rubbed the wrong way – especially when you switch teams – athletes are people and not everyone gets along with everyone. However the comments aren’t of the same nature and come from two widely different people.
First on the 9th, Trevor Booker, the now non-Jazz (he’s on the Nets) in question came out doubted Hayward really wanted to be “the man” and that he, to paraphrase, did not want the pressure that comes along with such a role. Ok, for us this isn’t too much of a biggie. We have IT. We have Horford, Tatum, and Brown. Even if this is true it shouldn’t be too troubling, and Booker also complimented Hayward in his comments, but he still felt comfortable enough with his opinion, and apathetic enough with how Hayward would react, to say them.
Then, just a couple days ago Ruby Gobert, one of Hayward’s teammates for the last 4 seasons, came out to, paraphrasing again, simply say he understood blah blah blah but didn’t exactly like Hayward leaving “went down”, which can mean a million things in the Sports world. I’m guessing Gobert either expected a heads up from Hayward before things became public or didn’t expect him to leave at all and is a bit salty. The bottom line is the Stifle Tower is another ex-teammate that probably will not be making the trip to lovely New England to spend the holidays with the Hayward family.
Again, all of these comments were pretty innocuous but they do beg the question of what Hayward is like around his teammates and in the locker room. They certainly don’t suggest his Jazz teammates hated him but he doesn’t seem completely beloved by them either. We signed Gordon Hayward to fill it up and that is what he is going to due. I don’t think we need him to play a KG-esque captain role, but it wouldn’t have hurt to have gained some leadership or at least a good example of a veteran personality. We still may have, but now we are certainly allowed to wonder.