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Gordon Hayward talks family, contract situation and being a number one option

March 21, 2014
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hayward

Is being the number one option that different?
It’s different, as far as, you know, a lot of teams kinda focus on you a little bit, and they try to take you out of what you like to do. So, a lot of my shots this year have been extremely different.

Defenses are different, as far as they’ll stay on me or they, like, last year I would get a lot more spot-up shots. And this year, it’s like they’re just not even gonna leave me to rotate to a wide-open, another wide-open guy. They’ll just let him shoot it. So, that’s been different.

How do you combat it?

You gotta do other things, try to get yourself involved. You look at the best players in the league, and team–we try to do that to teams too, so, and they still find ways to be effective, and impact the game. So, we just gotta continue to not let them do that to you and find other ways to help your team.

On chase-down blocks
That’s one of my favorite plays to do, is the chase-down block. And that’s, a lot of that is just timing, and hustle and stuff. But guys don’t, for whatever reason, guys still don’t think that I’m gonna try to block it.

Maybe that has to do with, like, the white thing,* or whatever. I don’t know what it is. [Maybe] they don’t see a lot of Utah games, but yeah, that’s definitely one of my favorite plays.

* No maybe about it.

** On his sister, gross UDQM: I was probably a pain to her. Her favorite word was “Stop.” So, I was always pestering her, and you know, touching her, and trying to tickle her, you know, just get on her (nerves).

On his parents
My dad is definitely consumed with, you know, how I play and how the Jazz play and stuff. You know, kinda just like I am. My mom kinda keeps, tries to keep me a little bit sane in that, you know, this is basketball and there’s other things that are important. …

It’s difficult for them too because they see how I am and they were out this past week, and you know, they see how it is, so.

And they, my mom gets frustrated with me, ’cause she doesn’t think I’m being happy all the time. And she keeps telling me, “Relax, be happy. You know, you’re in the NBA, and you’re getting engaged, and life is good.” And I’m telling her, life is not good. I can’t throw it in the ocean if I was standing on the beach.

Has your contract situation bothered you during the season?
No. It hasn’t bothered me. That’s just how, it was just a business decision, and that’s just how the NBA works, so. It hasn’t bothered me.

Would your season be going better if you had signed the deal the Jazz offered?

No. I don’t think so. I mean, it’d still be the same, because for me, I mean, the whole contract, I mean, I’m not a guy who’s going to, like, I’m not a stat guy or a selfish stat guy or something like that. So it wouldn’t, I mean, the whole contract thing doesn’t really affect me. I think I’d be playing the same regardless.*

* Raise your hand if you still associate the word “regardless” with Carlos Boozer.

What has been Richard Jefferson’s value to the team?
He says a lot of things in-game that are pretty valuable, and, just different cuts or different reads that you can make. And he’s been really good with that, of kinda pulling younger guys aside and saying things. And, defensively, where we should be at, or offensively, let’s do this, or we can get this, or, different things like that. So, that’s kinda what I’ve learned from him. (Locked on Jazz)

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