Added: Kirby Ybanez - Date: 14.10.2021 03:43 - Views: 10889 - Clicks: 9759
I had an unbelievable time in Boston and I think that it's unfortunate what happened; I obviously had a freak injury right when I got there. And there's a lot of things that were kind of out of my control of when I was in Boston. But I had a great time there and still have great relationships with the people there and some of the players there. And my teammates and coaches and my wife and I had built relationships with members of the community that we live in and to this day we talk to them And looking forward to this next chapter.
Hayward, 30, spent the past three seasons with the Celtics, but his tenure will be marked by the freak injury suffered in his regular-season debut in Hayward, who was expected to help lead the Celtics back to the NBA Finals, suffered a season-ending broken and dislocated left ankle.
After struggling to find a rhythm throughout the campaign, he started to look like his old self at times last season, averaging He acknowledged that as he worked his way back from a separate ankle injury during the Celtics' postseason run in the NBA bubble in Orlando, Florida, he wasn't thinking about whether his time with Boston was ending. And then when I get hurt, I'm just trying to get myself better as fast as I can so I can try to come back and see what I can do to try to help us.
So certainly wasn't thinking that this could be the last go-around at all. I think just the circumstances of the bubble and just where the NBA's at right now, and where the world's at with COVID, it was unlike any other circumstance. The decision to agree to terms with the Hornets actually was the second time Hayward has done so in his career. Hayward noted that the belief that Hornets owner Michael Jordan has always had in his game meant a lot.
And so for sure that was always one thing that was in the back of my mind. I think I asked him back then if Reggie [Miller] fouled him when he pushed off and hit the shot against them [in the Eastern Conference finals] when Reggie was on the Pacers in the playoffs there.
I never forgot that and so this second go-around he actually mentioned it as well when I talked and then when he had texted me a little bit that he's wanted me for years now. I think it was something where the more conversations that we had, that I had with the coaching staff, with some of the front office guys Kupchak said that on the morning of Hayward's decision, he did not "feel great" about the team's chances to actually land Hayward, but he was pleasantly surprised with the result.
Regarding his injury history, everybody knows he had a devastating injury three years ago. He passed our physical with flying colors. Last year it looked like he was rounding back into shape and was on his way to having a typical Gordon Hayward year when he sprained his ankle, which he's percent healed from now When pressed on the idea that the Hornets need Hayward to be more than just a "starter" after that kind of investment, Kupchak said he believes Hayward can get back to his All-Star form.
I think the best years for an NBA player, when their mind catches up to their body, is between the ages of 28 and So I think he still has at least two solid, maybe three really solid years where he can play at a high level.
Now, whether he makes the All-Star team or not, I don't know. Do we need him to average 25 or 27 points for this team? No, we do not need that. We need the stability in the locker room.
We need what he brings to us at that position. Not only scoring but facilitating an offense. And what does that translate into? I don't know, 17 points, 19 points, six rebounds? I don't know.
But to add a player like that to this young group we just felt that was the move in the right direction. Hornets coach James Borrego said he believes Hayward's decision to with the team had to do with more than money. Gordon had to make a decision if this is a place that he believed in, that he wanted to grow with, was this a place he saw himself finishing his career at? This city, this organization. And obviously, he chose us. Despite skepticism by some around the league regarding the price tag and Hayward's ability to stay healthy and produce at the same high level, Hayward is confident his play will do the talking.
I've always just kind of focused on myself and try to make myself a better player. And certainly the situation that I was in in Boston, we had a lot of great players, and we had a great team and so I was kind of in a different role than I was prior to the injury. And tried to make the most of that and I think statistically my agent [Mark Bartelstein] would tell you that I had a better year efficiency-wise than I did my last year when I was in Utah.
I think I'm just excited for this new opportunity, this new challenge in my career. I still firmly believe that I'm in the prime of my career. I think it's going to be a great challenge. Certainly there's going to be ups and downs as there are no matter where you're at with basketball, but I'm looking forward to being here in Charlotte and being with the new coaching staff and new players and kind of getting it going.
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