BOSTON — Some teammates might be worried about telling a former All-Star they need to be more aggressive, but Kyrie Irving knew Gordon Hayward would be receptive to his advice.
The Boston Celtics star guard gave Hayward a pep talk at a recent practice, asking him to be more aggressive and to remember how talented he is.
Hayward appeared to take Irving’s words to heart Friday against the Cleveland Cavaliers. The 28-year-old scored 14 points on 6-for-9 shooting in Boston’s 128-95 win at TD Garden.
So, why was Irving so confident he could tell Hayward he needed to be more aggressive? It’s simple, the stars are just aligned in their favor.
“Yeah, I mean we’re born on the same day,” Irving said of Hayward. “I don’t know if you believe in astrology or anything like that, we have some personality things that we’re aligned with and I think he has that ticker inside of him. I remember Coach (Mike Krzyzewski) telling me, you know, Gordon has a little bit of asshole in him. And he needs that. That toughness where he starts turning red and he starts getting into the basketball, getting out in transition and dunking the basketball and start doing those things.
“You know, that’s the Gordon we’re used to seeing and I’m just going to continue to give him that confidence as well as just let him be a veteran in this league and figure it out. So I’m just proud of him, I’m proud of the steps he’s making.”
Irving and the Celtics hope Hayward continues his upward trajectory toward the player he used to be, also known as “Old G,” according to Hayward.
Boston has dreams of dethroning the Golden State Warriors and they’ll need Hayward to be at his best in order to do that. It’ll be a long road back but with a fellow Aries in Irving by his side, a return to All-Star form just might be written in the stars for Hayward.
Thumbnail photo via David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports Images