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Bits on Gordon Hayward from Rudy Gobert and Dennis Lindsey Interviews and Gordon Hayward Celtics Introductory Presser

July 15, 2017
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One. Rudy Gobert on what he likes most about the post-Gordon Hayward team of players that do want to be a part of the organization: You got guys that are not scared. You know, guys that are competitors, and that want to keep getting better, and that’s what we need. You know, that’s why I’m not worried. We gonna keep getting better, and we gonna keep — we gonna show people that, you know, we’re a very good team.

Two. Gobert on playing in Salt Lake City: I mean, first of all it’s probably the best or one of the best organization in the NBA. You know, we really put the player first. We try to — right now, we, I mean, remodeling all the arena, the practice facility. We invest a lot in all that. And you know, maybe it’s not the best city to party. Maybe, you know, it’s not the best city to have fun, but I think to win and to get better, to improve, to develop, I think it’s the best — I think it’s one of the top cities, top in the NBA.

** “We.” “We.” “We.”

Three. Dennis Lindsey on how the Jazz move on from Hayward: With a dose of enthusiasm and a level of competitiveness where we set our jaw and make no excuses and have an unbelievable culture and do that with what we stand for, what we wanna stand for, which is great defense, tough play, unselfish play, growing players in their larger roles.

I think if we, you know, move back to who we are, how, what we have to be, how we have to do it here, there’s gonna be a real fundamental resolve top to bottom.

Four. Lindsey’s vision for the next iteration of the Utah Jazz: I’d love for every team to come to Salt Lake City and feel like they’re going to the dentist, who is the biggest hack, and who’s — it w–it takes an hour operation, and he moves it to four hours, it, where it’s gonna be long and painful. So, I’m OK with [a final score of] 71 to 69.

Five. And with this, Joe Ingles’ ascension on everyone’s Favorite All-Time Jazzmen lists continues. The best part about this is the We(s)t Willy happened two years before Ingles joined the Jazz.

Six. Gordon Hayward on his decision to sign with the Boston Celtics: There was just something different about Boston, and different about being a Celtic, and it was just a special feeling when talking about, you know, being a Boston Celtic and that ultimately, you know, won me over and, decided to join the Boston Celtics.

Seven. Hayward, asked if he was surprised by the reaction to his decision in Utah: I can definitely see where these fans are coming from. You know, I think the, it’s disappointing to see some of the threats and some of the violent responses, especially towards my family, and things of that nature.

Eight. Hayward on Brad Stevens: We get to Boston and it’s late at night, and we’re greeted at the terminal with, by, my wife and I are greeted by Brad and [former Butler assistant and current Celtics assistant] coach [Micah] Shrews[berry] and, you know, it’s immediate, immediate familiarity, and comfort. And it brought back memories of when I was being recruited in high school by coach Brad, and so it started out like that and that was just a really cool feeling to kind of be doing it over again, this time at the next level. …

Brad has talked a lot about [players playing multiple positions and me playing with the ball and without the ball] and using a lot of guys that we have on the roster in different ways, and I know he’s a genius when it comes to that stuff, both offensively and defensively. …

As soon as, you know, you get off the terminal, you know, it’s just instant familiarity. Just a comfort level with Brad, and what he does, and how he goes about things. And you know, it was easy. It was really easy. …

He’s a great, great coach, great guy, and you know, just was a friend to me during those times when he wasn’t my coach. I mean, he came to my wedding. Any time I needed anything, he was there for me. And this is when he’s busy, you know, getting ready for his second national championship run; when he, you know, finally decides to go to the Celtics [and] he’s got a whole agenda on his plate. …

Then, to be reunited, and like I said, just the familiarity and the comfort when he’s, finally is allowed, without, you know, tampering with rules or anything, he’s finally allowed to just talk to me and recruit to me, recruit me, it was kinda like deja vu.

Nine. Hayward on his new teammates who traveled domestically to meet with him: [At Fenway Park], they had the real cool video and Isaiah [Thomas] was there. Al Horford was there. And that meant a lot to me that, you know, they showed up, took time out of their schedule. You know, the offseason for us guys is precious time; precious, precious moments. So, for them to show up was really cool for me. …

I’m thrilled to get a chance to play with those guys. You know, they did a hell of a job last year and you know, got to the Eastern Conference Finals, No. 1 seed in the East, and so I’m, you know, a huge fan of their ga–their basketball games…

And so, I’m more than ecstatic to play with those guys. I think it’s gonna be a great fit. I think we can complement each other extremely well. Really, really looking forward to playing with those guys.

Ten. Hayward, asked if he’s talked to Gail Miller yet: (pause) Yeah, so, Gail actually sent me a text after the decision was made. A very, very nice text. And, sent it to me first, and so, and also sent one to my wife as well, Robyn. And we both replied to her…And so, you know, I think that’s all that we’ve said and done.

** “And we both replied to her.”

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Paul Johnson permalink
    July 15, 2017 9:23 pm

    Gordon Hayward is still not yet quite on the same skill level and/or athletic level as superstar players like LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, James Harden, Stephen Curry, Chris Paul, Kawhi Leonard, Anthony Davis, Giannis Antetokoumnpo, or perhaps even Paul George or Jimmy Butler, but he is still a high second tier guy–clearly a top 20 NBA player, probably even a top 15 NBA player.

    A couple of the things I have always liked about Gordon Hayward is that he has been very healthy his whole career, he plays consistently well whether he’s at home or on the road, and he is an unselfish, high-IQ player who generally makes those he plays with much better. And, getting much bigger and stronger over the past several years has really helped him take his game to a new level–especially as a finisher and as a rebounder, and in creating his own shot. He’s still got some things to learn and some skills to develop to become a top tier player (such as what to do when he meets up with a superior defender who shuts him down offensively), and his lack of freakish athleticism may limit him from ever getting to that top tier (although a lack of freakish athleticism didn’t limit Larry Bird from being a top tier player). I hope he is able to continue to develop and is able to continue to be successful in the future. If there is any other coach in the NBA besides Quin Snyder who could continue to help Hayward develop, it is probably Brad Stevens.

    Of course I would have liked Hayward to stay with the Jazz, and feel betrayed and disappointed that he chose to go to play with the Celtics, especially after all the Jazz did to center the team around him and to help him develop into a very good player. However, I am consoled by the fact that paying Gordon Hayward a max contract at his current ability level is clearly an “overpay’ as compared to paying the other guys on the above list a max contract. Furthermore, Hayward appears to be all about opting out of his current contract in a couple of years and getting a supermax contract–which will probably be even more of an overpay for his services, unless Hayward takes another giant leap in his ability and production levels over the next few years (which may not happen–Hayward may be about maxed out in how much he can improve). And, if he gets injured and is unable to play or has his abilities diminish for whatever reason, while he is being paid such a huge contract, that could really hamper the success of his team.

    In today’s NBA market, I would place Gordon Hayward’s true market value at about $25 mil. per year. Frankly, if Danilo Gallinari can stay healthy, he can bring most of the things to a team that Gordon Hayward can bring, at a much lower price (he is currently signed for approximately $21.5 mil. per year for 3 years). Gallinari would have been a nice consolation prize for the Jazz, if Hayward would have made his free agency decision in a manner that gave the Jazz a chance to replace him in free agency. I think most Jazz fans are equally as angry (or maybe more so) about the fact that Hayward made his decision in a way that caused the Jazz to lose out on the opportunity to sign a comparable replacement for him, such as Danilo Gallinari or Otto Porter (or even Andre Iguodala or Rudy Gay), as they are about the fact that Gordon Hayward spurned the Jazz for the sexier (in his perception) Boston Celtics.

    Finally, if you had to choose as a Jazz fan between keeping Gordon Hayward and building your team around him, or keeping Rudy Gobert and building your team around him, whom would you choose? I think even the most die-hard Gordon Hayward fans know the easy answer to that question–undeniably, for so many reasons, the answer is clearly Rudy Gobert!

    I think this season is going to be one where the Jazz focus on rehabilitating the careers of Rodney Hood, Derrick Favors, Alec Burks and Dante Exum–which all took a big step backward last season due to injuries–and further developing the skills and abilities of Rudy Gobert, Joe Ingles, Raul Neto, Joel Bolomboy and newcomers Ricky Rubio, Ekpe Udoh, Donovan Mitchell, and Tony Bradley, while enjoying the veteran contributions of Joe Johnson, Thabo Sefolosha and Jonas Jerebko. Even with Gordon Hayward being gone–and without the Jazz being able to sign a comparable replacement–the Jazz still have a boatload of talented players on this team (much more so than what the OKC Thunder had last season when Kevin Durant spurned them for the GSW).

    With Gordon Hayward’s signing with the Celtics finally being official, let’s all wish Gordon Hayward the best in his future endeavors and move on to enjoying the further development of the Jazz as we rebound from the loss of our precious “Too-Big-Yo/G-Time/Olive Gordon/Hair Gordon/H2O/Gordo/Haywood” in free agency. I especially like what Dennis Lindsey said about the Jazz’s goal of molding the Jazz into a defensive juggernaut whom other teams will want to play about as much as they will want to go to the dentist. That’s going to be fun to watch!

    • July 18, 2017 7:57 am

      Gobert is absolutely the player (and leader) you build your team around.

  2. Richard McEntire permalink
    July 19, 2017 11:33 am

    Hey Jazzfanatical, I just discovered your blog and I love your writing style and your passion for the Jazz. Keep up the good work man! :)

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