What the hell was going on between the initial report of Gordon Hayward’s decision to join the Celtics and his actual announcement, a delay of hours that including his agent denying the agreement on the record?
Danny Ainge gave his explanation Friday morning, insisting the Celtics weren’t sure they had the player until right around the time he announced it.
Hayward’s turn came later on Friday, and he strongly denied that the delay was related to him finishing his piece for The Players’ Tribune.
“That was definitely a hectic day,” he said on a conference call. “My mind was just in all kinds of different places that day. I think it’s definitely fair to say that I was leaning towards Boston, but at the same time, we hadn’t figured it out, and I was going back and forth with Mark, and we were really discussing throughout the day different reasons why or why not I should go to a different place.
“I was literally on the phone with mark when the story broke online, and I’m looking at my phone, I’m getting blown up saying I’ve decided to become a Boston Celtic, and as everybody knows, it was all over the internet.
“At that point in time we decided, look, we have to step away from this. I was pretty upset that that had happened. I didn’t feel like I was ready to say, ‘Yes, I want to be a Boston Celtic,’ so I had to take a step back and regroup and I think we talked about it more and more, then finally we put out the article, but I know there was a lot of reports with people saying we were finishing up the article for the Tribune, which is just completely false.
“I had a ghostwriter that I was talking with throughout the course of my visits, and I was sharing my thoughts the whole time. It was one of those things where once I made a decision, it was like five minutes [to] finish up and we were ready to go.
“I’m kind of bummed how it happened, but in this day and age, that kind of stuff goes on and there’s not much you can do about it.”
ESPN’s Chris Haynes was the first to report the agreement, which was confirmed by multiple outlets including CSNNE. Haynes sent out the following tweet after Hayward announced it.