Believe this if you want: Danny Ainge says he was nervous that the Celtics missed out on Gordon Hayward between the initial report of his agreement and the Players’ Tribune piece announcing it.
ESPN’s Chris Haynes reported the agreement early in the afternoon on July 4, which was confirmed by several outlets. His agent denied the report, with no further information coming until Hayward posted a story announcing the agreement later in the day.
One way of interpreting the events was that somebody had spoken too soon, even though they were right, and that The Players’ Tribune wanted the news to come from them first. According to Ainge, however, he feared that the C’s might have lost the player when the report emerged.
“We really had no idea. He didn’t really give us any hint when he left, so we were just waiting like everybody else, like the rest of the world,” Ainge told reporters Friday.
“When it came out with a premature report that he was coming to Boston, and I heard from his agent that that wasn’t true and that he had not made a decision, I went, ‘Oh no. That could be really bad.’ We were just on pins and needles the whole day until we finally got the word.”
Ainge said that Hayward’s agent confirmed the agreement to him around the time of Hayward’s piece being published.