Utah Jazz: Friendship — and fine play — continue for Gordon Hayward and Paul George
George, who was on the USA Select Team last summer with Hayward, was appreciative that the Jazz player was excited about the Pacer becoming an All-Star, having picked his game up in the absence of injured Indiana standout Danny Granger.
"I'd be in the same position if he was named an All-Star. I'd be happy for him," George said. "He's just a good friend of mine."
George, the first All-Star to be selected from the Class of 2010, said it's fun to watch guys who entered the league at the same time, like Hayward, have success so early in their careers.
"I feel like we had a pretty good draft class with a lot of guys that had talent. It's good to see those guys have impact and really contribute on their team and be a focal point on their team," George said.
"They say the NBA is a fraternity, but I think draft class is even more of a fraternity. Everybody's pulling for one another in their draft classes."
As for Hayward, he's even more motivated seeing George get recognized by NBA coaches.
"It motivates you," Hayward said. "You want to be an All-Star in this league, so when you see guys who are already doing it, you've just got to put in that much more work to try to get there."
Hayward does have one bit of a bragging right over George.
In his first pro game in Indiana, Hayward made the home crowd, with many fans sporting No. 20 Jazz jerseys, explode when he soared and strongly dunked over George for his only points of his rookie trip to Bankers Life Fieldhouse as an NBA visitor.
Hayward acted almost embarrassed when it was brought up. He cracked a slight smile and humbly said, "Just a dunk."
It might happen next in some random Indianapolis gym this summer.
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