Gordon Hayward’s decision to join the Celtics over the Jazz came with a bit of controversy, namely from current and former Utah players.
Trevor Booker, who currently plays power forward for the Nets, but spent two seasons with Hayward at Utah, took a shot at the new Celtics star.
“Gordon’s a guy who doesn’t really want to be the man,” Booker said, via The Salt Lake Tribune. “I’m not sure he wanted a franchise on his shoulders. Gordon’s a great player, and one of the best players in the league. But I wasn’t really surprised at his choice. I heard the rumors.”
Hayward had spent his entire career with the Jazz before this offseason. Hayward’s decision may have salted some wounds in Utah because he seemingly gave them hope he would return.
LeBron James did the same thing to the Cavaliers before ultimately laving for the Heat. Had Hayward just come out and stated his desire to play for the Celtics, controversy could have been avoided.
In regards to Booker’s comment, Hayward will not be expected to be “the man” in Boston, and that is just fine. Most of the best teams in the NBA have multiple stars expected to contribute. It is not a flaw in Hayward’s personality to want to play for a contender.
While Hayward certainly put a brighter spotlight on himself by choosing the Celtics, he has the game to silence critics and lead Boston to another deep postseason run.