Gordon Hayward’s Utah Jazz exit frustrated Rudy Gobert
Twitter ripped Lonzo Ball and then celebrated him after his two polar opposite performances at the NBA Summer League.
USA TODAY Sports
Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert, a second-team All-NBAer and runner-up for Defensive Player of the Year last season, was displeased with how Gordon Hayward exited the franchise in favor of joining the Boston Celtics.
“You cannot be mad at somebody for wanting to play for another team,” Gobert told ESPN. “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.”
Jazz team management wasn’t informed that Hayward had chosen to leave until minutes before he publicly announced his decision via a Players’ Tribune release. Hayward also didn’t inform Gobert or other teammates beforehand. Gobert and Jazz teammates Ricky Rubio, Joe Ingles and Rodney Hood went to San Diego the day before the announcement to pitch Hayward on staying in Utah.
“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 said. “I think that wasn’t the best way to do it, but I’m over it now. I’m just focused on the team.”
After Hayward’s announcement, Gobert was caught singing Chris Brown’s “Loyal” in an Instagram video — presumably taking a shot at Hayward’s perceived disloyalty. But the 25-year-old dismissed it being a jab and told ESPN, “I was just listening to music.”
Despite Hayward’s departure, Gobert pointed to a bright future in Salt Lake City.
“When you see the young guys and Ricky (Rubio) joining us, I’m very excited,” Gobert said. “We might end up being better than last year. Who knows? …Obviously, we lost Gordon, but we are still a very good team. We’re going to show people that we’re a good team.”
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12 July 2017 | 2:06 pm