Gordon Hayward is no longer a Boston Celtic. Let’s relive his roller-coaster tenure in green in the best way we know how, through song.
Track 1 – “Lovely Day” by Bill Withers
When Gordon Hayward signed with the Boston Celtics on July 4th, 2017 the future of this partnership was extremely bright. Hayward was reunited with his college coach, Brad Stevens, and fans had hopes of seeing the two raise a championship trophy together.
Five minutes into Hayward’s first game of the year he suffered a gruesome injury and would miss 99.9% of his first season as a Celtic. All the optimism of Hayward’s initial time in green went out the window.
Track 3 – “Everything Sucks” by Reel Big Fish
Hayward’s return to the court in 2018 was part of one of the worst seasons ever to be a Celtics fan. While he dealt with slowly coming back from his injury, the team went on to severely miss expectations and saw minimal development in their younger players. It was all bad and led to two All-Stars leaving the team that summer.
Track 4 – “The Sign” by Ace of Base
Despite the 2018-19 season not going well for the Celtics or for Hayward, there was a bright spot. No one expected Hayward to immediately return to the player he was, but the times he even slightly showcased his All-Star caliber talent were few and far between.
Except when the Celtics played the Minnesota Timberwolves. In two games vs. Minnesota that season, Hayward averaged 33 points, 5 rebounds and 7 assists. This was a SIGN to Celtics fans the All-Star from Utah could still come back.
Hayward attacked the 2019-20 season like a man on a mission to regain his old form. Over the first seven games of the season Hayward averaged 20 points, 8 rebounds and 5 assists. These were All-Star numbers and things were finally looking up for Hayward in green.
Track 6 – “Bad Day” by Daniel Powter
Hayward then broke his hand in the eight game of the season. He would miss the next three games, come back for three and then miss another three games. It seemed like he just couldn’t catch a break with his health as a Celtic.
Track 7 – “I’m Still Standing” by Elton John
On Christmas, Hayward returned to the lineup and over the next 34 games he averaged 17 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assists. He was ready to put the injuries behind him and the Celtics were cruising into the playoffs.
Track 8 – “It’s the End of the World” by R.E.M.
Then the NBA shut down in March because of the COVID-19 pandemic. For the first time Hayward was dealing with an interruption in his quest to get back to his former self that was not due to an injury. (One could even say…he felt fine…nailed it.)
Track 9 – “Oops!…I Did It Again” by Britney Spears
When the NBA resumed Hayward and the Celtics still looked poised for a successful postseason. Boston was handedly defeating the Philadelphia 76ers in Game 1 of their first series when Hayward sprained his ankle. He would miss the next 12 games and when he returned his performance was not the same as it was during the regular season.
Track 10 – “It Must Have Been Love” by Roxette
Rumors of Hayward possibly leaving the Celtics came out shortly after the playoffs ended. On November 19th, he opted out of the remaining year of his contract and then two days later signed a four-year $120 million contract with the Charlotte Hornets.
As Hayward joins a new team for a fresh start it’s difficult to not imagine what could have been and what the Celtics (and their fans) are losing here.
The sky seemed the limit when Boston signed a 27-year-old All-Star wing who was re-joining his basketball mentor. The fit seemed perfect, but the reality was anything but.
Celtics fans dreamed of adding Hayward as soon as Stevens took the job. Now they will just be left humming to themselves…
It must have been love
But it’s over now
It was all that I wanted
Now I’m living without
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