The 2017 NBA offseason brought with it one of the most difficult decisions of Gordon Hayward’s life, and after several days of thinking, G decided to head to Boston and join the Celtics.
He announced as much in a post to The Players Tribune, citing his longstanding relationship with Celtics head coach Brad Stevens, who recruited and coached Gordon at Butler University, as a motivating factor for his move.
There were so many great things pulling me in that direction. There was the winning culture of Boston, as a city — from the Sox, to the Pats, to the Bruins. There was the special history of the Celtics, as a franchise — from Russell, to Bird, to Pierce, and it goes on. There was the amazing potential of this current Celtics team — from ownership, to the front office, to a talented roster with Isaiah, and Al, and everyone else. And of course, there was Coach Stevens: Not just for the relationship that we’ve built off the court — but also for the one that we started building on the court, all of those years ago, in Indiana.
And that unfinished business we had together, back in 2010, when I left Butler for the NBA … as far as I’m concerned, all of these years later, we still have it:
And that’s to win a championship.
Some of Gordon’s new teammates in Boston were thrilled at the news
Let's get to it @gordonhayward ☘️⌚️☘️
— Isaiah Thomas (@Isaiah_Thomas) July 4, 2017
Of course, in choosing to go to Boston, Gordon leaves behind the only NBA team he’s ever known in the Utah Jazz. Over a seven-year career in Utah, Gordon saw the best and worst of the league. From playoff contending as a young player still trying to find his way in the NBA, to growing as a player while his team struggled, to an All-Star who played a large part in getting the Jazz franchise back into contention.
G won’t soon forget what Utah meant to his growth as a player and a person and the Jazz thanked him for all that he did with the franchise.
Gordon, thank you from the Miller Family and the Utah Jazz. pic.twitter.com/FEVCNBWMGv
— Utah Jazz (@utahjazz) July 5, 2017