I was just trying to get to my spot. Things were getting physical out there. —Gordon Hayward
OAKLAND, Calif. — Gordon Hayward didn't become a bad boy overnight — or at all, really — but the squeaky clean Utah Jazz player earned a little bit of street cred on Wednesday.
The second-year player finally had a technical foul put on his record.
"A lot of people were happy about it," he said, "which is kind of weird."
The "T" he received for trying to get separation from the Clippers' feisty guard, Mo Williams, on an inbounds play was the first tech Hayward has ever received.
Yes, ever. Counting his NBA career, including his two seasons at Butler and those years at Brownsburg (Ind.) High School, even back to his youth hoops days.
"I don't know," Hayward said. "It's $2,000 wasted."
Kind of an opportunity wasted as well, he joked.
Hayward, you see, didn't even realize he'd been T'd up — and not just because it's never happened to him in his 21-plus years.
When the ref blew the whistle, Hayward assumed he and Williams had simply been called for a double foul — not a costly technical.
He didn't realize that until he got to the bench and Raja Bell — no stranger of technical fouls — told him, "That's two G's."
Hayward was perplexed about Bell's two-grand reference.
"I was like, 'What? What are you talking about it?'" Hayward said. "He's like, 'Yeah, they T'd you up.'"
That still left Hayward feeling perplexed.
"I was just trying to get to my spot," he said. "Things were getting physical out there."
Hayward didn't think his actions merited a technical, but he isn't going to apologize for what he did. It was an intense game, and Williams was in his way of doing what he was supposed to do.
"I think it was good for the team, I guess," Hayward said. "We weren't going to back down. We were showing that we were going to fight them and we were going to be there."
As for why others were tickled about his tech, Hayward laughed when it was suggested that it's because they're not the ones who have to pay the charity-bound fine.
"Exactly," he said.
Not that he plans on getting any more technicals — unless players get in his way a la Williams or maybe for hanging on the rim — but Hayward felt a bit ripped off about his first-ever T.
"Afterwards, I was like man, it wasn't like a good T," he said, smiling. "I didn't get to cuss him out or anything, but I guess it happens."
Even to him — once in a lifetime, that is.
The even-tempered Hayward said he tries not to argue with referees or act out on the court.
"I've always controlled my emotions," he said. "I think that probably came from playing a lot of tennis, keeping it inside and not letting the opponent see what's going on with you. I think it gives them an advantage when you do that."
WHERE'S WATSON?: Point guard Earl Watson traveled to Oakland with the team after Wednesday's loss, but he parted ways with the Jazz on Thursday morning to get a second opinion on a treatment plan with a Los Angeles-based doctor.Comment on this story
During Thursday's Jazz game, Watson tweeted out a picture of his sprained and swollen left ankle and wrote, "I'm getting a laser treatment for a very speedy recovery! Thanks to Dr Shepps!"
Coach Tyrone Corbin supported Watson's decision to get his own treatment.
"We want to get him back on the floor and he want to get back on the floor," Corbin said. "So whatever we can do to assist in that and it's in the best interest of the player."
T FOR TEAM: The Jazz's team T total was raised to 10 Thursday by Corbin and Paul Millsap. Earl Watson, Millsap and Corbin are Utah's tech leaders with two T's. Derrick Favors, Devin Harris, Bell and Hayward each have one.