Chris Nicoli/USA Today Sports

Former Jazz teammate upset with how Gordon Hayward handled departure from Utah

John Hand
July 12, 2017 - 10:29 am

When a free agent signs with a new team you can almost always guarantee people will be upset.

Following Gordon Hayward agreeing to sign with Celtics last week, several videos surfaced on social media with Utah fans burning Hayward’s Jazz jersey. Now, Jazz center Rudy Gobert is opening up about Hayward’s move.

"You cannot be mad at somebody for wanting to play for another team," Gobert told ESPN. "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."

News broke Hayward had signed with the Celtics, but Hayward’s people denied the report. Several hours later Hayward’s camp told the Jazz that Hayward was indeed going to Boston. A few minutes after that news was delievered to the Jazz, a piece by Hayward appeared on the Players’ Tribune detailing his decision. Hayward did not personally tell his Jazz teammates he was leaving, according to Gobert.

"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."

After Hayward’s made the announcement, Gobert created a video on Instagram of him singing Loyal by Chris Brown.

"I was just listening to music," Gobert said, suppressing a smile. "I always do that. I always listen to music in my car and put up videos."

Despite the departure of Hayward, Gobert is still confident in the potential of the Jazz next season.

"Watching summer league, watching the guys, I'm very confident," he said. "I'm excited for our team. Obviously, we lost Gordon, but we are still a very good team. We're going to show people that we're a good team."

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