July 7, 2010
I've been watching the
free agent extravaganza with interest,
hoping that something would happen to boost
the Jazz franchise after what I felt was a
Well, things change. As time rushes on, I've
become more and more interested in and
hopeful in spite of myself that Gordon
Hayward was not a mistake at all. He's done
nothing really spectacular in the summer
league so far, but what has been impressive
is what he has not done.
He has stayed in the offense, never forced a
shot or committed to a foolish defensive
play. He's been rock solid, patient, smart,
and his basketball IQ is comparable to
Einstein's in his respective field. I
noticed with interest how when he came in
the second summer-league game with a few
minutes to go and the game on the line, how
easily the mantle of game-saver fell upon
his shoulders. It was effortless, natural. I
don't think his blood will ever warm up
further than frigid, and if he's ever
nervous, I wonder if it will ever show.
He's a stone-cold killer with a freckled
face from Indiana, and he reminds me more
than a little of the same guy who was booed
just like Gordon a few years ago.
No, Hayward's game is different, he plays a
different position and is a lot taller and
But what eerily reminds me of John Stockton
is the way he remains so grounded during the
game. No flashy passes for Gordon, just
simple assists pin pointed, or dagger like
threes with an expressionless face. Blue
collar work done exquisitely with minimum
Stock played with the same dispatch and the
Just give me the ball, I'll get it done,
whatever it takes.
I'll take that. Can't wait to see him play
with the big boys. Something tells me the
better the surrounding cast, the better
Hayward will play and the more the overall
team play will be elevated. It's a very,
very rare trait in a basketball player, but
I think Hayward has it. He's one of those
very select few who makes everyone around
Some nights he may only score in the teens.
Some nights he might have to score in the
twenties to win. He'll do it, just because
He's not a defensive center, like I wanted
out of this draft, but he's something much
rarer and of greater worth.
Wait and see, Jazz fans. He may never play
in an All-Star game, or lead the league in
But what will happen is that the teams he
plays on will somehow find a way how to win.
It gives me hope after draft night, when I
was so depressed about the future of the
Jazz it made me nauseous.
Now, I think the Winds of Time have changed
direction, mysteriously. Something tells me
this is going to be a pivotal summer in the
history of the Jazz, and more good things
will happen. I don't know exactly what
they'll be, perhaps Boozer will bring us a
player we didn't expect in return for a sign
and trade. Perhaps a trade that will catch
us by surprise.
Or perhaps this team will just gel like some
teams do and play greater than the
individual pieces would have you expect.
I have hope now, cause Opie's playing for
the Jazz. Funny how that works, that one
skinny kid from Indiana can give an old
timer a transfusion of optimism.
Just got feeling, Jazz fans. And it feels