Some Twitter fighting went on last week over the rumor Gordon Hayward wouldn’t show up for last Friday’s Jazz-Celtics game. But he did, to talk with media about his departure from Utah.
He didn’t say anything unexpected. Hayward never does. He noted it was a hectic week back in July, that he didn’t decide to leave until the last minute, and that he remains friends with former teammates, etc.
Jazz fans were ready to feel insulted if Hayward hadn’t appeared. But he went to dinner with assistant coach Johnnie Bryant and Joe Ingles, and the next night was at TD Garden.
I understand why Jazz fans were irritated about Hayward’s possible non-attendance, though I’m not convinced a player is actually obligated to make nice with his former team — even one that is treated as well as Utah treated Hayward.
The non-controversy was never the most important thing on Earth. I know Hayward didn’t want the drama. But to his credit, he arrived and did the work. Hayward didn’t owe the Jazz or their fans, but he needed to address it because it was the right thing. Considering how he made Utahns wait on his free agency decision until the last minute (which he maintains was necessary), showing up was a smart gesture.
He is hoping this is the last of it, and Ingles echoes that sentiment. Note to both: Not so fast. There’s still the return trip to Utah on March 28. If Hayward is back, he’ll have to deal with the same questions ... one more time.
None of the media want to go over that material again, but it’s not like they can ignore it.
So maybe we’ll see you in March, Gordon. Then we can all move on. Please.