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Bits from Gordon Hayward Interview (The Woj Pod)

July 27, 2017
tags: ,

On how the acquisition of Ricky Rubio impacted his decision
Yeah, I mean, it kind of was a difficult situation because I don’t want to be somebody that says, you know, you go get this player, and you know, I’m 100 percent in…Like, I didn’t want to make demands because I didn’t know if I was gonna end up there, and it wasn’t a sure thing. I wanted to — I had told them, you know, I wanted to go check out these other teams.

And you know, that being said, they asked me, you know, what do you, how do you feel about these guys, and you know, I would tell them. And you know, Ricky was a guy that was high on my list…

It was, you know, I think a step in the right direction for the Jazz, ’cause they had, we have had so many point guards, and just, unlucky with a lot of the situations that we had as far as injuries and everything. But you know, that was a bold step by them. I think he’s gonna help their team next year for sure.

On how he continued working out with Jazz coaches up until he decided to sign with Boston
The summer that I had last year with Johnnie Bryant and Isaiah Wright, the guys that I trained with — Johnnie and I have a tremendous relationship, and will continue to have that relationship even though he’s with the Jazz and I’m with the Celtics.

But I trusted him and wanted to continue to get better, and he came out to San Diego [this summer] to train me. And same with Isaiah Wright. He’s actually the strength coach of the Jazz, and we had a good thing going, and I appreciate those guys so much for what they did, because they for sure didn’t have to do it.

I was a free agent, and — it was kind of a tricky situation because, I’m sure if you were to ask the Celtics guys or the Heat guys, they wouldn’t have liked that I was training with Jazz personnel and Jazz people. But I think for me, it was something where I had a relationship that was beyond just the Jazz, beyond basketball…

I don’t think that they thought I was leading them on.

On Pat Riley and his Miami visit
My wife Robyn had no clue who he was. And I’m sure that’s refreshing to him.

On his relationship with Brad Stevens
I think the relationship between Brad and I has been completely overstated and overhyped from everybody.*


Did you have a preexisting relationship with Isaiah Thomas?
So, I had said what’s up to him at the All-Star break. And we were both in the, what was it, the challenge that we did? The Skills Challenge. And, like, that was pretty much the only time I’d talked to him. There wasn’t anything said there that would’ve been like, hey, come to Boston. (nervous laugh)

On his meeting with the Jazz
I didn’t know exactly who was gonna show up. Actually, when I answered the door, it was Gail and Greg Miller, the owners. And you have Dennis [Lindsey], and Quin [Snyder], and Steve Starks…

It’s kind of, initially a little bit awkward, because it’s something where, like I said, you’re just, like, on their side, and now you’re kinda like, removed, like, I don’t know if I’m gonna be on your side again next time. …

At the end of the presentation, that’s when Rudy [Gobert] and Ricky [Rubio] and Joe [Ingles] and Rodney Hood came in…I think somebody must’ve let them in. Oh, Johnnie Bryant was here and he let them in. And, they came in at the end of the presentation, as, like, a surprise.

On his time with the Jazz
I’ve been there and have been through the process of the rebuild, and going through 25 wins, and you know, 30-point blowout losses each and every night, to where we were last year, where we’re, you know, winning a playoff series.

On how much Golden State and the strength of the Western Conference impacted his decision
When we’re going through this process and you keep seeing some of the big-name guys [moving west] and it’s like the West is loading up more and more and more, it’s not something where — it’s not like, I’m gonna go east just so I don’t have to play them, ’cause you don’t wanna run from competition at all. That’s not how I am.

But, there is a sense that it’s probably the smarter thing, as far as, you don’t have to have the sam–like, you’re not gonna have to battle it out with all these l–teams just to make it to the second round, make it to the third r–you know, giving yourself a better chance against a Golden State. So, it definitely crosses your mind. A hundred percent.

On whether better odds of being an All-Star in the Eastern Conference impacted his decision
Yeah, and I think that, you look at the division that the Jazz are in, and that’s, that is a tough division. Oklahoma City, Minnesota, Portland, Denver. Like, that’s gonna be a really, really tough division, four — you’re playing those teams four times a year.

The All-Star thing is, it’s gonna be hard no matter what division you’re in, but certainly with the amount of stars that are in the Western Conference now, especially at the forward position too, it’s loaded and you know, you better have a really good first half of the season if you want to get in.

And a lot of that, to me, always comes down to how your team does. If your team is winning, then it’s gonna be a lot easier for you. So that, like I said, that for sure crosses your mind.

On when exactly Boston started separating itself from Utah and Miami
There was still doubt in my mind when I went to sleep, and so, I was for sure leaning there… [In the morning], ended up j-kinda just talking it out more than anything with [Mark Bartelstein], and that’s kind of where we, we were in the process of doing that, and that’s kind of when the leak* happened.

And you know, I’m talking with Mark, and like I said, for sure leaning towards Boston but not made up my mind at all, and now my phone’s blowing up…So, he took at least, what, like, an hour or two to let that all f–settle down**, and I guess, just, I didn’t wanna make — felt like, now I felt like there was a lot of pressure because everyone’s already saying the decision’s been made, and I still wasn’t for sure thinking Boston’s the way to go, so wanted to then think about it for a little bit longer, and didn’t wanna make my decision based off of the pressure that everyone else is putting on me that, you know what I mean, like, Twitter and everything just blowing up. And so, you know, we took a couple more hours, and then I finally, like, made up my mind.

* Interesting word choice. “Leak,” not “rumors.”
** i.e. to deny the leak to anyone who would listen.

On when exactly Boston started separating itself from Utah and Miami, Take 2
It was a different feeling in Boston that I had. It’s really, it was like a gut feeling, and felt like with everything that we broke down — the city, the coaching staff, the players, just the feeling of putting on a Boston Celtics uniform and competing for a title — outweighed everything else for me.

And in the end, it was kind of that s–that gut feeling that I had, like, this is the place that I think I should be and that I feel like I belong, that’s what won it over for me.

On how much he dreaded the phone call to Utah
Yeah, it was, I am, first off, terrible at doing that stuff.* It’s a hard thing to do, and I would’ve dreaded the call no matter what. It was, and so, it was, I called Quin, and just, you know, you gotta have to tell him. And he was great about it…It didn’t last too long, the phone call…

And then after that, I called Johnnie Bryant, who’s, like, my guy, and told him too, and it was the same thing.

* Lol, you don’t say.

On what Quin Snyder has meant to his career
He helped me turn myself into an all-star. He, feel like, saved me from a dark place where I was at. You know, we went, we won 25 games and I hate losing more than anything, and kinda helped turn that ship around and changed the culture in Utah a little bit. And, you know, helped me grow as a player, as a person, and you know, he was tremendous for me.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. cubsmodano permalink
    July 27, 2017 8:54 pm

    Really appreciate you transcribing this so that I don’t have to listen to it.

    Locke has a theory that Hayward did this as a mea culpa for Bartelstein refuting the early reports that Hayward was going to Boston. Regardless of why he did this interview, Hayward and his agent look very sneaky throughout this process.

  2. alpinecub permalink
    July 28, 2017 5:39 am

    Can you add Gordon Hayward’s farce to your sh!t list?

  3. July 28, 2017 6:41 am

    @cubsmodano Thanks for reading! There was just nothing he could that wouldn’t make things worse. Should’ve let sleeping dogs lie.

    @alpinecub See sidebar pic of Rudy singing “hoes ain’t loyal” lol

    • Paul Johnson permalink
      July 28, 2017 9:53 pm

      It’s my preference that you don’t add Hayward to your sh*t list. Rather, I would prefer to just totally forget about him like he’s inconsequential and his departure won’t really impact the Jazz–kind of like Enes Kanter, Trey Burke or even Shelvin Mack. At this point in time, it seems like he was never really a Jazzman, but rather, Utah was just where he ended up in the draft, and he had to bide his time until he could become an unrestricted free agent and go to where he really wanted to be. My observation is that Hayward seems to have a rather inflated opinion of himself as a star basketball player. On the positive side, I think Hayward saved the Jazz from salary cap purgatory, whereas they would have been giving a max contract to a marginal max contract player (in Hayward), especially in a few years when he would opt out and expect a veteran player supermax contract.

  4. GO JAZZ permalink
    July 30, 2017 8:31 pm

    did gordon just hide this post?

    cant find it here

    • August 1, 2017 7:42 am

      Asked @5kl and it seems there were two entries older than the oldest post still visible on his blog. One was his first one and the second is the one you mentioned. Guess it’s up to you to decide if it was intentional :)

  5. Yantyc permalink
    August 1, 2017 8:55 pm

    Thanks.He is so fake.kind of scared me.


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