Gordon Hayward Talks Foot Surgery, Free Agency, More

Between the end of the 2019/20 season and the start of his free agency, veteran forward Gordon Hayward underwent a minor surgical procedure on his left foot, he revealed to Sam Amick of The Athletic.

Known as “Morton’s neuroma” surgery, the procedure addressed the left foot discomfort that Hayward played through last season and required about four weeks for the incision to heal, according to Amick, who notes that the Hornets were well aware of when they made their four-year, $120MM offer to Hayward and were comfortable with his medical status.

In an extensive conversation with Amick, Hayward also spoke more about his free agency process, his time as a Celtic, and a handful of other topics. Here are a few highlights from the conversation, which is worth checking out in full if you’re an Athletic subscriber:

On the teams that were in the mix to sign him in free agency:

“Atlanta was a team that I was really interested in. … New York was in the mix — the Knicks. Indiana was another team that was really interested, and we had mutual interest for a while. Boston was — like, let’s not forget about Boston. I really wanted to go back to Boston too. There were just a lot of options, and a lot of potential teams that I could go to, but I’d say those were the main ones. Atlanta, New York, Boston, Indiana, and then Charlotte obviously.”

On why he ultimately chose the Hornets:

“I talked to a lot of people about Charlotte, and have talked to a lot of former players, teammates, about Charlotte. And nobody has ever said a bad thing about Charlotte as a city. Everyone loves it in Charlotte.

“… I think the opportunity to go somewhere, get a fresh start, be in a position to try to maximize my potential as a basketball player, I think, going somewhere where I’d have the ability to try and help a franchise get to that next level, it grew on me more and more after talking to the coaching staff, talking to the front office, obviously talking with my agent and my wife and family. That challenge kind of resonated with me. Talking with (Hornets) coach (James) Borrego, and more and more it was like, ‘Man, this is something I think I really want to do,’ so we just went with it.”

On how he’ll look back on his three years with the Celtics:

“Obviously it was disappointing with how everything played out there. A lot of it is just not under my control. I would have never imagined myself getting injured my very first year there and missing the whole year, having a serious injury. That’s obviously very disappointing. Last year, I feel like I played really well, and I feel like our team was in a really good position and I get injured again — like, a fluke injury — the first game of the playoffs. I honestly shouldn’t have come back and played, but tried to play through it and wasn’t able to be myself, so I don’t think we had our full team there at the end.

“… I have no regrets about anything that happened in Boston, and I really appreciate all the fan support — for supporting me through a wild ride of ups and downs.”

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8 thoughts on “Gordon Hayward Talks Foot Surgery, Free Agency, More

  1. Everyone loves it in Charlotte? Guess that’s why they have had so much success in luring free agents there.

  2. Lil_D_Top_3

    If they asked Hayward his favorite ice cream flavor it would definitely be vanilla

  3. x%sure

    I don’t see any new info there. He considered three of the five or six teams that had room, his bird rights team, his home state, liked the richest offer, pretty much as the media said.

  4. KnickerbockerAl

    He wanted to be the main guy again, for sure. Getting the best offer there sealed it. He’s playing well, so good for him.

  5. Reflect

    Why do players always build these elaborate speeches about their new team as if that team did not simply offer more money than other teams? All this stuff about Charlotte being a great place just makes me roll my eyes. Granted it actually is a nice place, but Hayward would have said the exact same thing regardless of where he signed.

  6. Jeff Zanghi

    As a Celtics fan obviously Hayward never lived up to the hopes and expectations we had for him when he signed. But through it all be was always a consumate professional and a class act. I wish him the best of luck in Charlotte or wherever else his career may take him. Good luck Gordon and thanks for being a class act and all around good guy while in Boston… even when things were rough.

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