Salt Lake Screwjob: Gordon Hayward leaves Utah Jazz for dead

Utah Jazz forward Gordon Hayward (Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr/Getty Images)
Utah Jazz forward Gordon Hayward (Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr/Getty Images) /

After suffocating Utah Jazz fans for nine hours, refusing to make a peep and put fans out of their misery, Gordon Hayward made a decision…

A decision to leave the Utah jazz for dead in the loaded Western Conference – for all those delusional fans thinking Gordon Hayward did what was best for the Jazz organization, may I remind you of exactly what he did.

Hayward dragged out this process far longer than necessary, watching every potential replacement fall off the market. He didn’t even have the decency to ask for a sign and trade so the Jazz get a little something in return.

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For those reasons, I name this catastrophe the Salt Lake Screwjob.

As a result of Hayward running to Boston without any regard for how it affects the Jazz, the Boston Celtics are now offloading Kelly Olynyk into the free agency pool when he could be headed for Utah. A similar scenario looks likely for Jae Crowder.

A mere few hours ago, the Jazz were a top four Western Conference team. Now, they’ve likely fallen out of the playoff picture completely. The Western Conference has never been stronger and the Denver Nuggets, Houston Rockets and Oklahoma City Thunder have vastly improved their rosters.

Hayward left the Jazz with no help, no direction and no chance. He sold us out. People don’t think this compares to what Kevin Durant and LeBron James did, but it does because he is our LeBron James.

He had a chance to be great with one – stand strong as one and build a legacy with a team he can call his own, with the NBA’s best fan base right behind him. Instead, he left it all behind to be second best at a team that will always be second best.

He was a role model for young players everywhere, he played with his body not his mouth, he never ever looked like the kind of player or man that would stab his franchise and his Jazz family in the back. But everyone who thought that, including myself was wrong, dead wrong.

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I could understand if Hayward pulled the trigger and announced his resignation a week ago when the Jazz could find a replacement, or if he had told the Jazz before the draft so they could look towards the future, but he waited until it was too late, and stabbed us in the back.

Phrase it any way you like, he wasn’t indecisive, he was waiting for the right time. He didn’t leave for success, he left for the glory and fame associated with the NBA’s most successful franchise. He left the Jazz in complete disarray.

I’ll sum up in one sentence; Gordon, don’t let the door hit you on the way out!