Gordon Hayward spent seven years in Utah, but on July 4, with one Players’ Tribune article, his Jazz era ended – and a lot of people aren’t happy about it.
“I think a lot of Jazz fans are ticked off – not that Gordon Hayward left, but just kind of the way that things went down,” Salt Lake Tribune Jazz reporter Tony Jones said on CBS Sports Radio’s Ferrall on the Bench. “The Jazz front office was ticked off because they had several Plan Bs in motion, but they couldn’t execute those Plan Bs because of how long the process took (Tuesday). So the emotion is kind of shock and a lot of anger. It’s just been a really emotional 24 hours here in Utah.”
Indeed, Hayward was reportedly leaving Utah for Boston. Then he reportedly wasn’t. Then he actually did.
While many people have praised Hayward’s aforementioned Players’ Tribune article, Scott Ferrall thought it was “pathetic” and “the cheesiest thing I’ve ever read.”
“I think a lot of Jazz fans felt it wasn’t needed,” Jones said, “but I think the words were genuine. I think it was a difficult decision for Hayward and he really did love Jazz fans and really did love playing for Utah. He really does credit the Jazz with his development. But here’s the thing: When you’re somebody like Gordon Hayward and you’re with the Jazz organization for seven years and you’ve been with someone like Quin Snyder for three or four years and he turned you from a guy who was a nice player into an All-Star – if you’re going to leave all that and you’re going to leave the opportunity to be with a 55-, 56-, 57-win team, which is what the Jazz would have been had Hayward stayed, then you just got to leave.”
Hayward leaving Utah was akin to a breakup, Jones said, and when it comes to breakups, less is more.
“When you leave your girlfriend (and say), ‘I’m in love with you, but I got to bounce’ – that’s just not what your girlfriend wants to hear,” Jones said. “I think Hayward should have just left and said, ‘Thank you, Jazz fans,’ taking out an ad in a paper or something like that instead of penning a 2,200-word article.”