Gordon Hayward: "I'm ready to be the player I came here to be"
There was a lot of news to come out of the Boston Celtics media day and some of it revolved around Gordon Hayward as he enters the back half of his 4-year contract which he signed in the summer of 2017.
Gordon Hayward playing for the Boston Celtics. Photo via Christian Petersen
When asked about how he felt going into the season, Hayward noted that his mentality was at a much healthier state than it was in the season prior.
Following an inconsistent season from both himself and the Celtics' as a group, Hayward used the summer to its full advantage. In a blog post written by Gordon himself, his motivations moving into next season were specifically detailed as well as what went into his offseason spent working hard in Boston.
Confidence was Hayward's main problem last year, along with adjusting to an entirely new situation in a Frankenstein season for the Celtics. However, it appears that the 29-year-old forward has moved past all of that and is "ready to be the player [he] came here to be."
His blog post is a fantastic read, as he goes into why he is motivated for next season, his feelings on last year, and how he thinks the new guys will fit into both the team and the culture in Boston. He also clarifies that "the team's goal is still the same. Nothing has changed for us. The Boston Celtics still want to raise Banner 18. That's still the goal."
So if you're interested in checking out the full blog, click here and give it a read. It is well worth your time as we get a more emotional, in-depth look into Hayward and how he has recovered both physically and mentally, something that we don't really get to see often from the relatively quiet NBA veteran.
While some have jumped to criticizing Hayward due to his large contract and lack of all-star play last season, I for one believe that he still has the time and potential to get back to the player he was meant to be. In my personal opinion, I think it is kind of harsh to complain about Hayward in his first season back from such a horrible, gruesome injury. I mean the guy's foot was facing the opposite direction of his barely attached leg on national television. Without a doubt, he would need a decent amount of time to recover from that.
However, as I said before, he seems to be ready to make the jump and having been almost two years removed from said injury I think this season might be his one and only chance to prove what kind of player he will be moving forward.