I’m finally over it, guys. Gordon Hayward aka Benedict Hayward aka Betrayward aka The Boston Flee Party is gone. Okay, I may not be over it yet, but some amazing things are happening with the team, a lot of it having to do with Donovan Mitchell. Let’s get started with my first ever downbeat!
In case you missed it, which is possible because the NBA did what they could to hide the Jazz with a 2:30 MST tipoff, Donovan Mitchell exploded for 37 points and 8 steals!
Donovan Mitchell dropped 37 PTS for the @utahjazz.— NBA (@NBA) July 11, 2017
That's the most by any player in the #NBASummer this year! pic.twitter.com/ZNiksGBulz
He was incredible and the NBA took note...
Donovan Mitchell looks like a tailback and plays like one when he attacks the basket. He wants contact.— Tim MacMahon (@espn_macmahon) July 11, 2017
Who's better?— Byron James (@ByronJKnight) July 12, 2017
Wow @spidadmitchell is a mini version of @russwest44 https://t.co/qTaMALrY9r— Dick Vitale (@DickieV) July 12, 2017
Even Mark Jackson had nice things to say, which made me feel strange emotions, but I’ll take it. It’s time to start believing the hype, guys. Donovan is for real. And that’s why...
Adidas just signed Donovan Mitchell to a shoe deal!
Adidas has signed Utah Jazz rookie guard Donovan Mitchell to a multi-year shoe deal. The 13th pick has had a strong Summer League showing.— Nick DePaula (@NickDePaula) July 11, 2017
Who says you can’t make a name for yourself in Utah?! How poetic would it be if Mitchell rises from the crater left by Gordon Hayward’s decision and not only fills the gap, but makes us even better? Is that possible? I think so!
A week or so has gone by since the Hayward decision and we finally get to hear from Joe Ingles, Hayward’s supposed best friend on the team, about his departure.
VIDEO: “I don’t like him, for the time being” – Joe Ingles on Gordon Hayward https://t.co/sq9Vcq7iWK pic.twitter.com/UDmr11hCL7— Believe The Hype (@BTHypeNBA) July 12, 2017
Ingles isn’t as angry as the headline leads you to believe. And even though he says they’ve spoken and they’re still friends, when Boston comes to town I’m fascinated to see if he does anything to get under Hayward’s skin. When do tickets go on sale again?
Rudy Gobert spoke with reporters and talked about Hayward, the Utah Jazz and his future.
Gobert on Utah: "To me, I think it would be stupid for me to leave right now. I really love the organization. I love to live in Salt Lake."— Jody Genessy (@DJJazzyJody) July 11, 2017
Rudy Gobert said he was "disappointed" that he found out on Twitter about Gordon Hayward deciding to bolt for Boston.— Jody Genessy (@DJJazzyJody) July 11, 2017
Rudy Gobert on the Jazz's meeting with Gordon Hayward last Monday: "It was a little awkward, but we did everything we could have done."— Jody Genessy (@DJJazzyJody) July 11, 2017
Gobert on projections Jazz won't be as good w/o Hayward: "If I was listening to projections, I’d probably be playing in France right now."— Jody Genessy (@DJJazzyJody) July 11, 2017
Rudy Gobert: "People are going to be surprised what we do this year."— Jody Genessy (@DJJazzyJody) July 11, 2017
I don’t know what’s more amazing, Gobert’s on court domination, or his quotes to media. I recommend going to Jody’s twitter and reading everything (I plucked some of the most interesting quotes) because Rudy provides more honesty and humor than any player I can think of.
Rudy is also saying the types of things that will eventually have a statue built next to John and Karl. Long live the stifle tower!
There were so many amazing Jazz things going on, but I wanted to end with something that really touched me.
Yesterday was Charlie Hayward’s birthday and she’s a really cute little girl. We all saw that Gordon posted the picture on social media and, surprise, surprise, there was wide array of reactions, some good and some not.
But to see Becky Lindsey, a woman who has taken Robyn in and done everything she could to make Gordon and his family feel at home, share this picture was incredible.
In a recent article in the Boston Globe, Hayward’s father said this about what Gordon has shared about his decision to choose Boston...
Even though Hayward is intimately familiar with Stevens’s style, seven years have passed since he last coached him. Hayward is a much better basketball player now, and as he sat with Stevens, it became more obvious that Stevens was a much better coach.
“Gordon said to me, ‘Dad, it was impressive. It was amazing,’ ” the father said.
Hayward, who has two young girls with his wife, Robyn, told his father that the Celtics’ family focus had stuck with him, too. For example, Stevens allows players to bring their spouses and children on the team plane during road trips.
It may not be intentional, but this could be taken really badly if you’re Quin Snyder and Dennis Lindsey. Snyder and Lindsey were integral in helping Gordon become an all-star and it’s brushed aside from one sit down with Stevens. And for Gordon to talk about “family” because of open plane rides? My guess is that if Gordon wanted his family on the team plane, the Lindsey’s aren’t telling him no. How easy would it be to take this badly, for them to air dirty laundry or tell some stories about Hayward he wouldn’t want shared? It would be hard for me not to.
But after all of this, after Gordon did not show a bit of courtesy because of his need for a self-serving blog post and a refusal to communicate with Jazz brass during and after the decision, the Lindsey’s have shown incredible class and integrity.
There is nothing fake about them. This isn’t some sort of PR spin like the Hayward camp is putting out, it’s real. I’m proud at how they’ve represented the Jazz and Gail Miller and I’m sure that Larry Miller would be proud too. Something tells me Gordon finds out how special they are a few years down the road...