Yesterday Gordon Hayward, the erstwhile next star for the Utah Jazz released yet another blog post on his website www.gordonhayward20.com. I am certain that most of you have already read his post, which is over 1k words long, complete with great, personal insights and amazing pictures. If not, well, you are going to end up reading it here pretty soon. Hayward reveals:
Working with Team USA is also helping me get ready for the upcoming season. There are a lot of adjustments I need to make to help the team succeed, and to succeed in what I'm trying to accomplish as a player.
First and foremost: I need to be a much better shooter than I was last year. I'm constantly working on shooting and continuing to develop my mid-range game. I have to get better these next couple of years.
I believe that I can, and that I have the talent and drive to be an All-Star. It's not something you can do alone in this league. You need your team to be successful to get there. So that process starts with making sure our team is doing the right things, and making sure we get ourselves going in the right direction.
That’s one of the reasons why I’m also working on improving as a leader. I know the Jazz want and need me to be a leader in the locker room, and on the court. I’m not an extremely vocal guy, but I’ve always led by example. That’s who the Jazz expect me to be: Somebody that the younger guys can look up to and see that I’m competing every day in practice, that I’m doing the right things and being professional.
It’s a pretty cool feeling to be in this position at my age, but it’s not entirely unexpected. A high school coach told me a while ago that leadership isn’t about how old you are. It’s going to be a challenge for sure, but something that I’ve dreamed about being able to do. I want to see it through. And the older I get and the more experience I get, the more vocal a leader I think I’ll become. That’s something else that I can continue to improve upon. The best teams usually have the best chemistry, and everybody is on the same page. That’s something that I can try to make happen as well.
Communication is a very important part of that. The longer you play together, the more you develop what I call silent chemistry. It’s the point you reach where you can just give each other a look, and know where to go. Obviously, we’re not there yet. So we have to make sure we’re all doing things the right way, and then, we have to hold each other accountable.
I didn’t know much about our new coach, Quin Snyder, before he was hired. I’d seen him on benches before. I knew he had the reputation of being very tough, but also a player’s coach. And from what I’d heard, he is a really good X and O guy.
I talked to him right after I signed, and it was a really great conversation. We didn't even talk basketball. He'd heard that I just recently got married, so we talked about the wedding, and things like that.
That really struck me. He seems like someone that players can relate to. It's comforting when you can meet someone who you're going to work with, and they know that it's not all about basketball, and instead just chat with you about life. It helps to strengthen that relationship.
Coach Snyder also came out to Las Vegas to meet with me at Team USA Training Camp, which is a great thing.
I'm looking forward to getting to know him better as time goes on and working with him this fall in Utah.
Yeah, smart guy and there are four other sections to read about including talking about being with Team USA, what he is learning, what is going down in Vegas, his personal and team goals, and of course, what he's learning from this entire experience.
Sure, the Jazz are going to be putting Hayward's great grandchildren through college with the contract he just signed. And that's fine, 16/5/5/1 guys don't grow on trees. But just as Hayward has grown on us fans, he has also grown up with the Jazz. And this young man, the baby faced guy who nearly killed Duke in the NCAA Championship game years ago, is ready to be that "King in the North" type of young, but confident leader we know he would one day be.
I just, you know, hope things work out better for Gordon than things did for Robb.
And for Jazz fans, well, it's awesome to know that that day is right around the corner. Gordon, Derrick Favors, Trey Burke, Alec Burks, Enes Kanter, Rudy Gobert, Rodney Hood, and Dante Exum make this an exciting team. And it's going to be a great season. And Gordon Hayward is going to be a huge part of that.