This will be my last post about the Gordon Hayward/Utah Jazz relationship. I promise.
On July 4, 2017 Gordon Hayward did something that at the time was an unforgivable transgression in the eyes of Jazz fans everywhere. After an off-season of trying to maneuver the team in such a way that would appeal most to Hayward and convince him to stay, hints from Hayward himself that he was leaning toward staying in Utah and reassurances from sports writers and sports radio personalities that he was staying; it was leaked by someone outside the Hayward camp that Gordon had chosen Boston over Utah. He was drafted by the Jazz, developed from a skinny kid out of college into an all-star by the Jazz, and put down roots in Utah. Utah had really embraced him. It was a real blow when he packed up and left town without communicating anything to his teammates or coaches or even thanking Gail Miller, the owner, for the time he was given to play here in Utah.
Enter Donovan Mitchell who was drafted the same summer and brought to Utah on a draft day trade with the Denver Nuggets. Mitchell came in an extremely close second between him and Ben Simmons in the race for the NBA rookie of the year award. He won won the 2018 espy for breakout athlete of the year. More importantly he picked Utah back up, dusted them off and relit and replaced that fire and hope that Hayward took with him.
On Saturday, November 17 the Jazz beat the Celtics in Boston 98-86. Mitchell had 28 points and 6 assists. He also had a pretty prolific come from behind swat on the now Boston Celtic Gordon Hayward.
— Utah Jazz (@utahjazz) November 18, 2018
I think it is now time for bygones to be bygones. It is time to forgive Gordon Hayward and completely focus on who we replaced him with and our team going forward. I still, every so often, hear resentment expressed over that unfortunate incident that happened the summer of 2017. I don’t think Hayward did it out of spite. I don’t think he has a malicious bone in his body. I think that he was just impressed by Boston’s flash and intrigued about the opportunity of teaming up with a superstar in Kyrie Irving. We did know him for seven years after all. There certainly was nothing malevolent about him. How he handled the situation was a bit immature but not definitely not vindictive.
With this series sweep, the Jazz are showing their fans that talent wise, our team isn’t behind where we were two years ago.
I have bought into the hype that Donavon’s rookie season brought and I cannot wait for him to progress further. He is a future all-star in the making and will become an offensive juggernaught when he learns how to attack opposing defenses most effectively using his tremendous athletic ability
— Donovan Mitchell (@spidadmitchell) November 17, 2018