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The Downbeat #1159 F3: Gordon Hayward Edition

Gordon Hayward, the vet. Wait, WUT?

This is Gordon Hayward's show now.
This is Gordon Hayward's show now.
Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports

There are 5 installments to today's Downbeat. These will be dropping throughout the morning. One for every member of the F5. There will be 25 points of the Downbeat today. The U.S. Government may have shut down, but not MyLo. Next up, Gordon Hayward, the vet.

F1 - Trey Burke

F2 - Alec Burks

F3 - Gordon Hayward

F4 - Derrick Favors

F5 - Enes Kanter

This was one of my favorite exchanges between Hayward and any media member.  This one happened to be with David Locke.  Gordon Hayward's attitude has always been that winning is the most important thing above all, not individual accolades.  Which makes him the perfect lens through which the Jazz can look through.  If Hayward can establish this type of mindset throughout the whole team as a vet then the Jazz will be building a very fundamental building block for a championship winning team.

Locke: Wowed some people with some numbers in Santa Barbara this summer.  Care to share?

Hayward: Uh ... I think there were a lot of other numbers I could have done a lot better at.  So ... I don't know about the wowing factor.

Locke: Didn't you go to Santa Barbara last weekend, did some testing, how'd it go?

Hayward: It was good.  Solid.  Had a good offseason.

Locke: Take over.  He's giving me nothing you go. *laughs*  *Motions to Ron Boone to take over*

Ron Boone: Why did you have a good offseason.  What'd you do?

Hayward: I think ... uh ... I was able to ... uh ... with this offseason, obviously, with the disappointing season we had last year ... um ... took about a month off.  Didn't do anything.  Didn't think about basketball.  Um ... Indianapolis, the Pacers, had a good run in the playoffs, which pissed me off.  And I got right back to work.  Was doing two-a-days, three-a-days before Vegas.  I was able to spend, about a month and a half, every single day, 5 days a week straight of doing weights in the morning and basketball in the afternoon.  I got kinda got in a groove of working and getting better.

Boone: So you had some numbers at the end of last season.  Where are those numbers now?

Hayward: They're better.  They're not where they need to be.

This is why Hayward continues to be my favorite on the Utah Jazz.  He is a humble guy, but, beyond that, he knows what is most important.  He doesn't need to gloat about how great his offseason work is.  He just works.  That's the price one pays to get better and improve.  Those are things a guy just does to get better.

I like the fire he had to see his hometown Pacers with a semi young team make the playoffs and have a deep run.  Hayward must have seen how they relied upon their defense to get there.  Something last year's Utah Jazz lacked.  This is the Gordon Hayward Coach K was glowing about during Team USA scrimmages.  He has the right mindset.

The biggest challenge facing Gordon Hayward (and Derrick Favors) is their ability to vocally lead the Utah Jazz.  This is what Gordon Hayward had to say about that.

[Author's Note:  I had to turn up the volume all the way just to hear what Gordon Hayward was saying about being vocal as a leader.]

David Locke: What's going to be the hardest part [about leading this team]?

Gordon Hayward: Vocally.  We're both quiet guys, Fave even more than I am.  So ... if something happens, if something doesn't go our way, somebody is not doing their job, it's part of our responsibility, our job, to make sure that we ... you don't have to yell at the person, you don't have to do anything crazy like that.  To be motivators a little bit.  Hold people accountable, hold ourselves accountable, and make sure the next time they get the job done.

There are different types of leaders.  There are vocal leaders.  There are motivators.  There are those that just do the work and expect others to follow.  In either situation, in order to lead, a leader has to be extraordinary in one of those areas.  If they are going to be a vocal leader they need to speak up consistently and be the voice people expect to hear.  If they are a motivator, they must be their consistently to pick their teammates up and be a force for good.  If they are going to show by example their example must be so consistently high so that no one can mistake where the bar is set.  I'm very interested to see what type of leaders Gordon Hayward, and Derrick Favors, become this year.

While Trey Burke and Alec Burks glowed about John Stockton and Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter left impressed and inspired by Karl Malone, Gordon Hayward seemed to be motivated by something different.  Himself.  While these other players may need at this point in their careers some mentorship by a Hall of Fame player or a standard to aspire to, Gordon seems to constantly be driven by wanting to win.

Gordon Hayward is his own biggest motivator.  He just wants to win.  This exchange with Enes Kanter earlier even shows that.  David Locke related a story that Kanter was disappointed that Locke didn't hype up his first career three more.  Locke argued that it didn't matter because the Jazz were losing by 30.

Kanter: That was my first career three, man.

Hayward: That was your first career three?

Kanter: Yeah, man.

Locke: Who's right, if you made a three and lost, it doesn't matter or should I have given him more credit?

Hayward: It doesn't matter.  We lost.  Did we lose that game?

Kanter: Yes.

Hayward: Then it doesn't matter.

There was some extension talk today by Gordon Hayward.  And by extension talk I mean, there wasn't any extension talk.

Derrick Favors and Gordon Hayward actually mentioned that Jon Rinehart, PR man for the Utah Jazz, had rehearsed with them beforehand what to say.  Hayward and Favors joked around about it so the negotiations right now must be going well.  Dennis Lindsey had talked a little bit about their extensions and seemed to dispel the notion that they wanted either one of them to reach RFA.

Sounds like the Utah Jazz definitively see Gordon Hayward and Derrick Favors in their long term plans.

During the whole media day it was refreshing to see how comfortable Gordon Hayward and Derrick Favors were as the focus of this team.  They looked like high school students on their first day of senior year.  They looked anxious and ready to own the school they had been subjugated to for the past 3 years.  This was their time to shine.

Hayward was at Cedar Point this summer, the greatest amusement park in the United States.  Seriously, I can vouch for this.  It is amazing.  He evidently ran into Gordon Hayward.  Locke tells the story how he just happened to be there when Hayward was there.  He tells of their chance meeting in the middle of Ohio.  Tells a funny story of how Gordon Hayward keeps his frugal rep to his usual Olive Garden standards.  But, c'mon, David, we all know the real story.