To some degree, Gordon Hayward‘s defection to the Boston Celtics pulled the rug from under the Utah Jazz’s gradual ascent. They are now in an uncertain position after previously being one of the best teams in the NBA.
Rudy Gobert is now the Jazz’s centerpiece. The All-NBA center delivered a parting shot at Hayward after the All-Star wing agreed to sign with the Celtics but now explains his stance. The issue isn’t with Hayward wanting to join another team but how he went about doing it.
Hayward left the Jazz in limbo for hours after ESPN.com’s Chris Haynes reported initially he intended to sign with the Celtics. Six hours after Haynes’ report, Hayward penned a piece for The Players’ Tribune and only notified the Jazz of this decision shortly before he made his choice public.
“You cannot be mad at somebody for wanting to play for another team,” Gobert said, via ESPN.com’s Tim MacMahon. “It’s just the way he handled it; that’s the thing I didn’t like. I’m happy for him at the same time. I hope he’s going to be happy over there and get what he’s looking for.”
“To all his teammates, all the guys that he competed with for years, guys that sacrificed for him and for the team, not necessarily tell us but make sure as a team we can keep going forward if he leaves,” Gobert added. “I think that wasn’t the best way to do it, but I’m over it now. I’m just focused on the team.”