SOURCE– This has been the toughest decision that I’ve ever had to make in my life. This weekend has probably been the longest weekend of my life. And today … well, today has definitely been one of the craziest days of my life. But I wanted to make sure that I got this right.
As you can see, it’s taken me a while, and thanks to everyone for their patience. I can’t even begin to count the number of conversations I’ve had with my wife, Robyn, and the rest of my inner-circle, since the season ended, and all the way up to this evening — just going through every possible angle, in every potential direction.
My meetings with all three teams during this process — Miami, Boston and Utah — were just unbelievable. They couldn’t have been more impressive. Each meeting left me convinced that the team I’d just met with was the right fit. And even after I slept on it last night, while I was leaning heavily in one direction … I still wasn’t 100-percent convinced about what I wanted to do.
What’s crazy is — before I even had a chance to make my decision, before I had a chance to sit down and write this, and before I even had a chance to talk about it with the people I love — I was already reading reports about where I was going. And I guess that’s just the way things work, in 2017. But I’m sorry it had to work out like that.
This was a life-changing decision for me and my family, and something we took really seriously. And from the very start of this process, one thing stood out as important: I knew that I wanted the fans and the organizations to hear my decision directly from me.
After seven years in Utah, I have decided to join the Boston Celtics.
The last time I had a decision this tough … it was in college, during my sophomore year, after we lost to Duke in the national championship game. I’d gotten on NBA radars as a result of my play that March, and there were projections that I might even be a first-round pick in the draft. And so I had a decision to make: Should I leave my comfort zone at Butler and move on to the NBA? Or should I stay another year, and give it another go, and try to finish what we’d started — try to win a championship?
It was such a tough decision. But there was one person who I knew I could talk to about it from every angle, who I knew would give me the smartest and most honest perspective available: Coach Stevens.
Coach Stevens was so great about it, all of it. He helped me lay out my options, and talked it through from both sides … but in the end, when I needed it, he also gave me my space. And he also let me know that it was my choice to make — and that he would be there for me, on the other side of it, either way. And of course I ended up deciding to leave: I declared for the draft, and got drafted, and started my new NBA life in Utah. But it always meant a lot to me, to know how, in that moment, even with our lives at this strange crossroads together, Coach Stevens was someone I could count on.
And I guess it’s pretty crazy. Because seven years later, I had to make an even tougher decision — and again, Coach Stevens and I found ourselves at a crossroads together. And again, he was the person I knew I could count on the most.
And now I’ve decided to sign with the Boston Celtics.
There were so many great things pulling me in that direction. There was the winning culture of Boston, as a city — from the Sox, to the Pats, to the Bruins. There was the special history of the Celtics, as a franchise — from Russell, to Bird, to Pierce, and it goes on. There was the amazing potential of this current Celtics team — from ownership, to the front office, to a talented roster with Isaiah, and Al, and everyone else. And of course, there was Coach Stevens: Not just for the relationship that we’ve built off the court — but also for the one that we started building on the court, all of those years ago, in Indiana.
And that unfinished business we had together, back in 2010, when I left Butler for the NBA … as far as I’m concerned, all of these years later, we still have it:
And that’s to win a championship.
GORDON HAYWARD / CONTRIBUTOR
They did it. They actually did it. Danny Ainge and Brad Stevens went out into Free Agency and got the best player available. They went out there and for the 2nd year in a row, they brought in a big name Free Agent. Something that has never happened before. They have made the Boston Celtics a Free Agent destination.
The best part about this signing is it is exactly what the Celtics need. Now they have a player who will be a multi time All-Star who is a real scoring threat from the wing. They have another player who will be dependable night in and night out offensively other than Isaiah. This sets the Celtics to challenge the Cavs this season and into the future for the Eastern Conference Championship. The Celtics are a legit championship contender in the NBA now all thanks to Gordon Hayward.
We finally got the fireworks we have all been promised. The Celtics have built this team up from a team who blew it all up by trading away Pierce and KG to now contenting for a championship. And the best part is that they aren’t done yet. Someone will have to be moved to make room for Hayward, and this gives the Celtics an opportunity to trade a piece to fill another need, a rebounder. There will still be moves to be made, but the Celtics will be a much better team when they walk onto the court this season then the team we saw in the East Finals last season.
For the 2nd year in a row, the Celtics were able to add a marquee Free Agent and the #3 pick in the draft. This Celtics team is going to be very good for a long time and I for one am looking forward to it.
Welcome to Boston, Gordon!