Rudy Gobert Didn’t Like How Gordon Hayward Handled Jazz Exit

BOSTON (CBS) — Rudy Gobert isn’t mad. He’s just disappointed.

The Jazz big man is about to play his first NBA season without ex-teammate Gordon Hayward, who announced that he is joining the Celtics in a Players Tribune article on the Fourth of July. While Gobert is not necessarily mad at Hayward for going to the Celtics after playing for the Jazz for seven seasons, he is not happy about how Hayward handled the move.

“You cannot be mad at somebody for wanting to play for another team,” Gobert told ESPN’s Tim MacMahon at a Jazz summer league game. “It’s just the way he handled it, that’s the thing I didn’t like. I’m happy for him at the same time. I hope he’s going to be happy over there and get what he’s looking for.”

dl gordon hayward and rudy gobert Rudy Gobert Didnt Like How Gordon Hayward Handled Jazz Exit

(L-R) Gordon Hayward, Rudy Gobert (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

ESPN’s Chris Haynes first broke the news that Hayward would be signing with the Celtics in the afternoon of July 4, only for Hayward’s agent Mark Bartelstein to deny the report. After hours of uncertainty and social media chaos, Hayward publicly announced his decision to sign with the Celtics.

Hayward’s now-former teammates found out about his decision at the same time as everyone else, as Hayward reportedly did not inform any of them of his decision before he announced it. That is ostensibly what upset Gobert about Hayward’s handling of the decision.

“To all his teammates, all the guys that he competed with for years, guys that sacrificed for him and for the team, not necessarily tell us but make sure as a team we can keep going forward if he leaves,” said Gobert. “I think that wasn’t the best way to do it, but I’m over it now. I’m just focused on the team.”

Gobert was part of a four-man pitch at Hayward’s meeting with the Jazz in San Diego that also included Rodney Hood, Joe Ingles, and trade acquisition Ricky Rubio. The Jazz reportedly felt it would be enough to lure Hayward back to Utah after getting pitches from Boston and Miami.

While Gobert’s comments are not particularly inflammatory, they reflect other unhappy reactions from players, media, and fans that have come out since Hayward’s departure from the Jazz.

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