LBS- Mark Bartelstein joined Ryen Russillo on ESPN Radio Wednesday to talk about the process by which Hayward chose the Celtics in free agency. According to what Bartelstein told Russillo, Hayward was leaning towards re-signing with the Jazz as of Monday night following his visit with the team.
“He was shaken because now he was back thinking, ‘I can’t leave Utah,'” Bartelstein said of Hayward’s mindset following the meeting.
“We were on the phone til really late on Monday night and he was really torn on what he wanted to do. He was leaning towards staying with Utah. But he was exhausted, so I said ‘go to bed, wake up in the morning.'”
Bartelstein says that after the two talked in the morning, he got the sense Hayward was back to wanting to play for the Celtics. Then all craziness broke loose when the news was leaked earlier than expected, leading Bartelstein to issue multiple denials until the announcement was made in the fashion they wanted.
There's not a doubt in my mind that the decision to join the Boston Celtics was a difficult for Gordon Hayward to make. I'm sure he felt a very real sense of kinship to the organization that drafted him, and the city that embraced him as their own.
I'm just not sure I can say the same about his agent who either doesn't know how breakups work, or he literally wants Jazz fans to feel as much pain as humanly possible. I mean, Mark Bartelstein literally just did the equivalent of taking all the hard liquor that people in Utah aren't drinking and pouring it directly into their open wounds with a public statement that roughly translates to....
"Hey guys, your beloved star player was basically one postponed nap away from making your 'Stayward' billboards a reality and keeping whatever slim championships aspirations you had alive. So close...better luck next time!"
Jazz fans that just became exponentially less likely to come anywhere close to celebrating anything in the foreseeable future don't need the "comfort" of knowing they lost the race by a snore. They need somewhere to blindly direct their hate after losing the race, and what better target than their former hero that exercised his God-given right to free agency?
You know what someone doesn't want to hear immediately after you ripped their heart out of their chest? That you still love them and genuinely envisioned a future with them just 12 hours prior. Talk about mixed fucking signals. The Utah faithful would have a much better chance of sleeping off the disappointment if they didn't think that Gordon Hayward literally slept off a potential 4-5 year commitment to the only professional sports team they can call their own. Especially since the 2,000+ word farewell letter that was posted shortly afterward is proof positive that he didn't.