After a few glorious hours of confusion, Gordon Hayward has at last ended the speculation about his future by announcing that he will be signing with the Boston Celtics with an article on The Players’ Tribune.
The article itself is as heartfelt and earnest and boring as these things always are. The majority of it is spent on Hayward’s appreciation for the personal growth he’s undergone out in Utah—an intellectual and emotional maturation mirrored by his physical development from a boyishly cute naif to an achingly gorgeous hunk. However, there is a somewhat interesting nugget in there where he offers an explanation and apology for today’s reporting meltdown:
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.
Anyway, this is Good. The Celtics were already the barren Eastern Conference’s only real threat to push the Cavaliers in any somewhat serious way, and they just got stronger today. Whether that means the Cavs will best the Celtics in six games instead of five, or if the ‘Tics come together during the season and find a way to mount a more legit challenge for the right to get plastered by the Warriors in the Finals, only time will tell. Still, behind great and proud Hoosiers like Hayward and Brad Stevens, anything is possible.