I'm definitely guarding him. I've already told Coach (Quin Snyder). I texted coach the next day and said between me and Donovan (Mitchell), we'll give him a good game.
LAS VEGAS — Leave it to Joe Ingles to bring some levity to an emotionally charged situation.
Ingles was Gordon Hayward’s best friend on the Utah Jazz, so he wasn’t thrilled when the All-Star decided to sign with the Boston Celtics instead of staying with the 51-win team.
But Ingles, who’s agreed to a four-year, $52 million contract with Utah, is trying to take Hayward’s impending move in stride.
“He’s always going to be a good friend of mine,” Ingles said in an interview with NBA Australia this week. “But I still don’t like him for the time being because he left us, but we’ll be fine.”
Ingles sounds like he’ll circle the Celtics-Jazz game on his calendar when the NBA releases its schedule next month.
“I’m definitely guarding him,” Ingles said, laughing. “I’ve already told Coach (Quin Snyder). I texted coach the next day and said between me and Donovan (Mitchell), we’ll give him a good game.”
Ingles also joked that he might change jersey numbers this upcoming season to get back at Hayward.
“I might take his number,” said Ingles, who’s worn No. 2 the last three seasons in Utah. “I might take number 20.”
Ingles said he’ll remain friends with Hayward even if he’s disappointed in his decision.
“I think for him it was kind of time for a change obviously. He needed some new challenges or whatever it was,” Ingles said.
“I’ve spoken to him. I kind of spoke to him throughout it to try and lend support or stay away whenever he kind of wanted and, at the end of the day, we spoke after it and I mean making a decision like that, you’re not going to change friendships because of guys who have gone on different teams.”