This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2017, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
After raising more than 6,700 to place "STAYWARD" billboards up and down I-15 in an effort to show appreciation for Utah Jazz free agent Gordon Hayward, Garrett Jones had every reasons to be inconsolable after Hayward decided to ship out to the Boston Celtics on Tuesday.
But at least on social media, Jones took the high road.
Jones tweeted from his Twitter account @UtahJazz6Man:
Regardless of where it got us, we let him know we cared, a lot. And it was fun to rally around him one last time.— Staywardπ΄π'ππ'©π·π (@UtahJazz6Man) https://twitter.com/UtahJazz6Man/status/882388952862179328">July 5, 2017
On the other end of the spectrum, @jcougar23 shared a video in which he set Hayward's jersey aflame:
Most Utah Jazz fans probably fell somewhere in between on Tuesday, which was marked by a deep sense of defeat and hurt in the state after http://www.sltrib.com/sports/5470829-155/gordon-hayward-spurns-utah-jazz-for">Hayward spurned the team where he spent the first seven years of his NBA career.
It was made all the more painful by a one-two punch: Hayward's agent Mark Bartelstein denied early afternoon reports that he had opted to join the Celtics, saying he was still making his decision. Utah fans were rocked again just minutes before 6 p.m., when Hayward's official announcement in The Player's Tribune went live.
The Utah Jazz official account sent out a message of gratitude:
Gordon, thank you from the Miller Family and the Utah Jazz. https://t.co/FEVCNBWMGv">pic.twitter.com/FEVCNBWMGv— Utah Jazz (@utahjazz) https://twitter.com/utahjazz/status/882405623152779264">July 5, 2017
ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Jazz GM Dennis Lindsey conveyed a similar sentiment:
Jazz GM Dennis Lindsey wishes Hayward family "the very best," and tells ESPN: "We have a good young core and we are going to compete."— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) https://twitter.com/wojespn/status/882393349168267266">July 5, 2017
Many of Hayward's former Jazz teammates didn't immediately tweet in the wake of his departure. But many read plenty of subtext into a Rudy Gobert Instagram post of him singing along to Chris Brown's "Loyal."
This is great— JazzNation (@JazzNationNews) https://twitter.com/JazzNationNews/status/882411521527037953">July 5, 2017
Well played https://twitter.com/rudygobert27">@rudygobert27; πππ
Gobert posted this on his IG story w/ song in background "These Hoes Ain't Loyal" https://twitter.com/hashtag/JazzNation?src=hash">#JazzNation; https://t.co/831HVnxdcv">pic.twitter.com/831HVnxdcv
Among the media, there was some skepticism in retrospect about Bartelstein's denials that Hayward had made a decision earlier on Tuesday. Yahoo columnist Dan Wetzel fired off a tweet shortly after Hayward's official announcement appeared:
So Gordon Hayward was conflicted and wrestling with the decision, yet he managed to own a 2100 word column on it. Legendary deadline writer.— Dan Wetzel (@DanWetzel) https://twitter.com/DanWetzel/status/882391384409473024">July 5, 2017
Among Jazz fans, the emotions were more pointed. Directly responding to Hayward's tweet sharing The Player's Tribune column, many fans said the team would be better off without him, or said he didn't deserve the Jazz. A tweet from @Hendrickks might've best summed up that sentiment:
Others were more somber about the affair. Several fans wondered what else the Jazz could've done. They groused over Hayward's camp trying to scrub media reports of him leaving before he confirmed it himself:
I love Gordon, always will. But that wasn't they way to do it.— Taylor Griffin (@griffdunk) https://twitter.com/griffdunk/status/882387601604263937">July 4, 2017
Still, there were fans who seemed genuinely heartbroken and not driven by anger over Hayward's departure. ZDOG, a fan who has gained a form of celebrity in Utah for his colorful Jazz-themed music videos had a heartfelt minute-and-a-half video in which he poured out both gratitude and sadness:
THANK YOU GORDON HAYWARD https://t.co/uWZl5LUQc4">pic.twitter.com/uWZl5LUQc4— ZDOG (@ZDOG223) https://twitter.com/ZDOG223/status/882406789077016576">July 5, 2017