Gordon Hayward’s controversial handling of his free agency departure this summer begs the question, do Utah Jazz fans owe him anything?
Do Utah Jazz fans owe Gordon Hayward anything? I mean they cheered for him while he was here. But this is professional sports – unless you do something special for the community (he didn’t) what do you deserve?
Sure, he played for your favorite team for seven years. You watched him grow and you rooted for him (or against him, whatever the case may be). You’ll always have those memories, but do you owe Gordon Hayward some type of allegiance?
As my colleague Jared Woodcox wrote about Hayward’s Boston Celtics introductory press conference, Gordon felt his “destiny” was in Boston as Kyrie Irving’s number two man. What do fans owe a player who shares no allegiance for them and their long-suffering during his growing years?
Other former Celtics seemed much more loyal…
In light of the recent trade of Isaiah Thomas to Cleveland and his own post on the Players’ Tribune we can look back and examine another exit where the player posted about it on the Players’ Tribune just as Gordon Hayward did… However, let’s examine the stark contrast between these two letters and the hollow feeling found in one and the rich depth of feeling found in the other.
I could get emotional here and go on a #Tiradeward but I’m over getting emotional over Gordon picking another team. I won’t root for the kid, but understand that he can do what he wants with his life. Just like Kevin Durant. Now back to the matter at hand…
Let’s look at Isaiah’s situation:
Ainge: “I just traded you.”
Simple as that. No big words, no big speech. Though I guess when it comes to shit like that, there’s not much more to say.
Thomas: “To where.” That’s all I could manage.
This reaction tells you how Isaiah felt about the situation. He could barely speak because he was so gutted to be leaving the Celtics via trade. Isaiah really loved Boston and leaving it was actually difficult for him. Consider the contrast in the gravity of feeling from Isaiah to what Hayward wrote:
What’s crazy is — before I even had a chance to make my decision, before I had a chance to sit down and write this, and before I even had a chance to talk about it with the people I love — I was already reading reports about where I was going. And I guess that’s just the way things work, in 2017. But I’m sorry it had to work out like that.
This was a life-changing decision for me and my family, and something we took really seriously. And from the very start of this process, one thing stood out as important: I knew that I wanted the fans and the organizations to hear my decision directly from me.
After seven years in Utah, I have decided to join the Boston Celtics.
Thank you, Utah indeed (rolls eyes)… One could look at it like it’s a contrast of styles. A Hayward who is known for giving lengthy detailed interviews to the media expressing his feelings openly just wanted to say more… Wait a minute is this the same guy?
So wait, you’re telling me Gordon doesn’t give lots of details or any real answers of substance most of the time? That changes everything!
It seems clear to me that Gordon Hayward was contemplating his departure for a long time. A guy like Isaiah Thomas had found his home in Boston and loved that he was wanted. At least until “Trader Danny” decided he wasn’t.
So where does that leave Jazz fans? I mean Gordon has been cheered and booed by fans of the Utah Jazz for years. What do they owe him for his seven years of service to the franchise?
In short, Gordon got his reward already. He moved to a market he felt better suited him and to a franchise he prefers over the Jazz.
In the end, what matters is everyone has their own opinion and own choice in the matter. Fan how you want to fan, my friends. Debates are nice, however, respect for others and their opinions is king.
With that being said, what do you think, Jazz fans? Do the Jazz and their fans owe Hayward anything? Let me know in the comments below or hit me up on Twitter.