Basketball bonds: Gordon Hayward's father has helped the Jazz player during every step of his career
Interestingly, their traveling tutorial tradition began in earnest when an 8-year-old Gordon and his team were bouncing around the Hoosier State to compete in baseball tournaments, not basketball.
"We'd go pick up some of the other kids and their parents. We'd all jump in the minivan and ride to the game," his dad said. "On the way home, we'd talk about things that we did, things we needed to work on, things we did well. We kind of joked about it, 'Now it's time for some 'Van Talk.'"
Dad figures there were times when his son might roll his eyes or not feel up to talking, but their relationship and mutual respect was strong enough that the younger Gordon listened and learned.
"He was always really receptive," Hayward said.
That was the case whether Gordon had gone 0-for-the-game or if it was a night during his rookie season when he'd outplayed Kobe Bryant in Los Angeles.
"Van Talk" will, no doubt, resume when the 2013-14 NBA season begins and the versatile athlete is expected to take on an even larger leadership role in a rebuilding period.
One session could even take place this Sunday in a Honda sedan on the way back to the brick house the Hayward family has called home for a couple of decades.
For his old man's sake, here's hoping "Little Gordon," as Grandma Hayward used to call him, takes it easy on "Progressively Slowing Down Gordon" once they get back into the car after their Father's Day game.
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