Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here… highlighting the big story line. Because there’s nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.
After the Celtics made Hayward’s four-year, $128 million contract official yesterday, Stevens said that in wooing his former Butler star he stressed the off-court circumstances as well as what Hayward would mean on the court.
Like Hayward deciding to leave Utah after seven seasons, Stevens left Butler after 13 seasons.
“I think that one of the things that I really tried to do was talk about why this transition was so great for me and my family and also how hard it was to initially make the transition,” Stevens said during a conference call. “And I tried to be empathetic toward that and talk about again why we thought it was a great situation from the standpoint of what we’re trying to continue to accomplish with the Celtics and how seamlessly we thought he’d fit into that.”
Ainge was asked how he thought Stevens’ relationship with Hayward from their days at Butler would factor into Hayward’s decision. As it turned out, it worked strongly in Boston’s favor, but Ainge didn’t know what to expect.
“I wasn’t sure,” Ainge said. “I don’t think Brad [was] sure; Brad, I’m sure, will address this himself, but my feelings were that it could be a benefit. It could hurt us, too in the fact that they had such a strong bond years ago, that you might not want to jeopardize that bond by getting into the stress and pressures of a completely different circumstance, so I didn’t know how that would go, quite honestly.”
The conclusion of the Gordon Hayward signing saga was as discombobulated as the start. The whole thing really needs to be set to Yakety Sax. July 1st, Hayward flies to Boston, gets picked up at the airport by Stevens, goes to Fenway Park the next day, goes to Boston’s new training facility, flies back to San Diego, meets with the Jazz on the 3rd, has his decision leaked on Tuesday, denies the reports through his agent, announces the same decision later, gets raked over the coals by Jazz fans, flies to Boston again three days later, buys a suit, eats at a Panera, flies back to San Diego, and then Mike Zarren flies from Las Vegas to San Diego the following Friday with a contract. Hayward signs the contract, Zarren flies back, and then Danny Ainge holds a press conference in a coat closet and Brad Stevens and Gordon Hayward take part in a conference call where, if there is any justice in the world, “On the Banks of the Wabash” was the on-hold music.
Anyway, if the preceding musical selections haven’t alienated regular Red’s Army readers yet, the following reference likely will. For the last week or so, I’ve had “Say Goodbye to Hollywood” stuck in my head, the much better Songs in the Attic live version. It kind of fits this whole second chapter of the Stevens/Hayward saga. Stevens took a huge risk leaving Butler to coach the Celtics. Hayward’s taking a smaller risk by leaving the Jazz, but he’s alienated a lot more people than Stevens did when he left Butler. Sure, in the made-for-TV version of this story, Stevens and Hayward win multiple championships with the Celtics, but just because it makes for a nice story doesn’t mean it’s going to happen in real life.
And things are different. It’s been seven years since that picture above.
Ultimately, people have been putting Hayward in Boston for years, and that might make it seem like Hayward took the easy way out by coming to Boston instead of re-upping with the Jazz, but that’s not quite how it works. Staying in Utah was the easier choice. Coming to Boston means added expectations. Heck, even if Hayward hadn’t specifically mentioned ‘unfinished business’, we all know that missed shot against Duke. And even if Hayward and Stevens didn’t have a history, the Celtics do. Hayward was asked about winning a title in his first press conference as a Celtic. I’m going to bet that wouldn’t have happened in Utah.
So, yeah, it’s going to be interesting this year. I can’t wait for another slow start and the re-emergence of the huge community of Celtics ‘fans’ whose ‘support’ of the team consists of criticizing everything that they do.
Do I think Stevens and Hayward can win a title in Boston? Yes. I think that both Stevens and Hayward are interested in getting better and moving forward and not trying to recapture that Butler magic. I think Hayward will be a better player under Stevens because, well, frankly, everyone is a better player under Stevens (except David Lee, who was apparently caught off guard when Boston expected him to earn playing time).
Page 2: So long, Bryan Doo
Just wanted to thank @celtics for 15 amazing years (14 seasons)!!! I know I poured my heart and soul into every player that walked through the door to try to make them the best they could be. What an amazing organization and am so proud to have worked for them! Excited to move on to my various "gigs" around Boston and be around to watch my 5 children grow. Bitter sweet leaving, as I can't wait to see how good these young players (so professional and hungry) become and how successful the organization is going to continue to be. Like the quote I put on the wall behind me. "What hurts more the pain of hard work or the pain of regret?" I endured the hard work and have no pain because I have no regrets!
This was a really surprising bit of news. It appears that few–if any–of the guys covering the Celtics saw this coming. However, the tone of the announcement suggests that Doo was getting tired of the travel, and with five kids, can you blame him for wanting ‘gigs’ that will keep him around Boston?
On the one hand, he’ll be tough to replace, but on the other, he’s not leaving a mess behind–he seems to be departing on the best possible terms and he seems to have given the Celtics time to find a replacement.
Finally: This happened
The rest of the links:
MassLive: Gordon Hayward, Brad Stevens reunited: How special bond helped Boston Celtics land their man | Gordon Hayward explains weird decision day: Boston Celtics star denies claims he was just finishing Players Tribune article | Gordon Hayward: Boston Celtics winning a championship in 2017-18 is ‘for sure’ attainable | Marvin Bagley, potential No. 1 pick, could re-classify & enter 2018 NBA Draft (report) | Boston Celtics rumors 2017: Abdel Nader agrees to four-year contract | Jayson Tatum, Boston Celtics rookie, appears to switch numbers from 11 to 0, ending 7/11 nickname
Providence Journal: Gordon Hayward’s deal with Celtics finally official