Gordon Hayward is now a member of the Boston Celtics.
The 6’8″ All-Star forward announced his decision to sign with Boston in “The Players Tribune” Tuesday evening.
Thank You, Utah. https://t.co/ICfocNeZfW
— Gordon Hayward (@gordonhayward) July 4, 2017
Hayward joins his former college head coach at Butler, Brad Stevens, and wrote that his relationship with Stevens was a driving force in his choosing Boston over Utah or Miami.
“And that unfinished business we had together, back in 2010, when I left Butler for the NBA,” Hayward wrote, “… as far as I’m concerned, all of these years later, we still have it: And that’s to win a championship.”
Hayward, a Christian, grew up in a home that made church a priority. In a 2015 article from the Alabama Baptist, Hayward talked about the importance of attending services each week.
“My parents (Gordon Scott Hayward and Jody Hayward) went to church every Sunday. They have been there for me my whole life. They took me to church,” he told the Alabama Baptist. “It’s always been a staple; something I try to do.”
In the article, Hayward said he’s appreciative of the reminders his mother gives him before every game, simply texting her son: “Remember Who you play for.”
“It helps remind myself why I am doing this. I am playing for the glory of God,” Hayward told the Alabama Baptist. “It makes life easier. It takes a lot of pressure off of you. My inspiration first and foremost always has to be God. I play every game for Him and after that my inspiration is my family.”
Gordon’s wife, Robyn, shared on Instagram how thankful she and her husband were for their time in Utah, but also mentioned that there had been a lot of mean comments and threats because of the decision to sign with Boston.
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I'm excited to go on this adventure with this man! It's bittersweet leaving where we've called home and grown our family, but I'm excited to see where this path takes us! We are so grateful for everything Utah has done for us! ❤️ Also, as for all the mean comments and threats. Don't forget athletes are humans too. Treat others how you would like to be treated. It would never cross my mind to speak so negatively and so full of hate about oneself or their family.
“Don’t forget athletes are humans too,” Robyn Hayward wrote on Instagram. “Treat others how you would like to be treated. It would never cross my mind to speak so negatively and so full of hate about oneself or their family.”
Robyn Hayward’s Instagram bio mentions the Bible verse Luke 1:37, which states: “For nothing will be impossible with God.”
In a poem that Hayward wrote for his wife, he stated how she makes him a “better Christian” and that her faith also makes him a “better man too.”
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This is a poem Gordon wrote for me for the night he proposed (just ran across it)… Our proposal is a wonderful story (thanks to him for his thoughtfulness and creativity). This is just a piece of what the proposal was like- this poem was my first clue to a scavenger hunt he had set up for me in Indiana while he pretended he couldn't be in town on Christmas Eve, but really he was the last surprise just waiting for me on his knee😊 #yesimbragging #hesgotthebrains #ilovehim
In 2016-17, Hayward had career highs in points per game (21.9), rebounds (5.4) and three-pointers made (149). He helped lead Utah to the Western Conference Semifinals before being swept by the eventual NBA Champion Warriors, in four games.
He is expected to slide right into the starting lineup for Boston, as the Celtics look to continue on their 2016-17 momentum, which saw them finish with the best record in the Eastern Conference and fall just three playoff wins shy of reaching the NBA Finals.