SALT LAKE CITY — Video game athletes, Boston Celtics fans and people who like to boo, rejoice! Gordon Hayward is returning to Utah on Friday night.
When the Celtics visit the Jazz at Vivint Arena, this will mark the first time Hayward has stepped foot in the building that looks as different as the jersey he’s sporting nowadays.
At least one of those things was a major upgrade, but we’ll let you decide which one.
Hayward’s Boston teammate Kyrie Irving was asked about Hayward’s return to his old stomping grounds, and the guard’s response made it easier to see why he openly declared his belief that the earth is flat not too long ago.
Kyrie Irving’s on Hayward’s return to Utah: “If anything he gave (seven years) of his career trying to be the best he could in Utah and I give him credit for that. And he made a decision in his career, and in his life, for his family, to be better. I’ll leave it at that.” pic.twitter.com/YdEDYnUkcg
— Jay King (@ByJayKing) November 9, 2018
“If anything he gave (seven years) of his career trying to be the best he could in Utah and I give him credit for that,” Irving told Jay King of The Athletic. “And he made a decision in his career, and in his life, for his family, to be better. I’ll leave it at that.”
The way Irving put it makes it sound like Hayward sacrificed himself for seven grueling years while doing heavy-duty volunteer labor of working in the salt mines for minimum wage. Keep in mind, the Jazz paid him $56.8 million and helped him become the player he is — an All-Star months before he led Utah on and dragged his feet before finally admitting that he believed the grass was a Celtic shade greener on the other side of the country.
I’ll give the Jazz credit and leave it at that.
If you want to see how salty folks who cheer for the team located in Salt Lake City are, do a quick search for “Gordon Hayward” on Twitter. Here are a few publishable results:
“I don’t think Jazz fans will ever forgive Gordon Hayward.”
— ESPN 700 (@ESPN700) November 8, 2018
Jae Crowder: 17 PTS, 6.5 REB, 1.9 AST, 0.9 STL per 75 team possessions, .585 TS%, 1.6 Box Plus-Minus, .131 Win Shares per 48 Minutes
Gordon Hayward: 14.6 PTS, 8.4 REB, 3.2 AST, 1.3 STL per 75 team possessions, .486 TS%, 0.2 Box Plus-Minus, .085 Win Shares per 48 Minutes https://t.co/gsnzONgubu
— Andy Bailey (@AndrewDBailey) November 8, 2018
Boo him. He earned it. https://t.co/lLMBcQAU8Y
— Mychal Lowman (@My_Lo) November 9, 2018
From that SLCDunk.com blog:
This same group of fans eagerly awaiting what the then Knicks unprotected lottery pick would become and watched as Gordon Hayward became its heir. They watched and rooted for the development of the scrawny kid out of Butler even as Paul George blossomed in Indiana and saw success sooner. They took his side …read more
Source:: Deseret News – Sports News