Gordon Hayward Admits He Hoped Celtics Would Lose After He First Suffered Injury


Sep 26, 2018

Gordon Hayward is human. What else can you say?

The Boston Celtics forward experienced an up-and-down first season with Boston with a much stronger emphasis on the “downs.”

Hayward, of course, broke his ankle in the first game of the season and had to sit on the sideline all season as he watched the Celtics go on a deep playoff run — coming within one win of the NBA Finals — as one of the best teams in the NBA.

Hayward eventually embraced the role of cheerleader, but there was a time right after the injury when he couldn’t help but feel sorry for himself, as the competitor within took over.

“I don’t think you’d be human if there wasn’t a part of you that was like ‘I hope that we lose,'” Hayward said on Barstool Sports’ “Pardon My Take” podcast.

That might seem harsh, but it’s hard to fault the guy, especially when you consider the injury happened so early into his Celtics tenure. When you’re a player of Hayward’s stature, you obviously want to know you’re valuable and to see the team have sustained success almost immediately after he went down was hard for him to watch.

“I got hurt, then we lost like two games and then went on a 18- or 19-game win streak and I was like laying in bed like “Come on! What’s going on?” But there was a part of me that was like, dude, they’re winning without me, what’s the deal?” he said.

Eventually, however, those feelings naturally subsided, and Hayward was ready to fully support his new teammates.

“But then there’s another side where it’s like this is why I came to Boston,” he said. “We’re going to be good, we’re going to have a chance to win the whole thing, you’re rooting for them. These are your teammates. You have two conflicting things going on at the same time. If you didn’t think that, I don’t think you would be human. If you’re a natural competitor, you want to be out there, they’re doing well without you, but like I said, that’s why I came to Boston.”

And it’s not like the Celtics couldn’t have used Hayward. He probably would have helped in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals when the C’s went cold, and had they beat the Cleveland Cavaliers, Hayward would have been a pivotal player in an NBA Finals matchup against the Golden State Warriors.

They never got that far, though, which means there’s some unfinished business this season that Hayward can’t wait to get back and help accomplish.

Thumbnail photo via Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports Images
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