Jazz is anything but inviting when Gordon Hayward returns to Utah

Jazz is anything but inviting when Gordon Hayward returns to Utah

SALT LAKE CITY – The Boston Celtics striker Gordon Hayward returned to Utah to play jazz for the first time on Friday night since leaving the country two summers ago as a free agent.

He did not get a welcome reception right now.

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Hayward was introduced to a thundering round of boos before the Celtics met jazz in the Vivint Smart Home Arena. This is in keeping with the way in which the audience from the hometown received former stars leaving under miserable circumstances.

The 28-year-old striker, who spent the first seven years of his career in jazz, boasted loudly from the moment he appeared on Boston's precursor layup lines. Fans unloaded him when he touched the ball – and then cheer when he misses.

In the end, however, they were tired of the routine – apparently deciding to save her punishment when the game began a short time later, when it returned again and again with full force when Hayward touched the ball.

While Hayward exchanged friendships with his three former teammates – Joe Ingles, Derrick Favors, and Rudy Gobert – and kicked his replacement as Utah star Donovan Mitchell before the match began, jazz did not waste him until he was attacked.

Jazz head coach Quin Snyder called a pick-and-roll early in the morning and repeatedly sent Gobert – one of the league's best screeners – to give Hayward a body. The result was an ingles layup to open the score, as well as several other open looks.

Boston MP Gordon Gordon talks to former Utah team-mate Joe Ingles before Friday's game. Hayward was the first in Salt Lake City since leaving for the Celtics after the 2016/17 season. Melissa Majchrzak / NBAE on Getty Images

Hayward, who had not talked to the media before the game, made his first shot in the first quarter – a fast-break layup that he turned into a long pass Jayson Tatum, who started the game by blocking a shot, beat Al Horford with a nice pocket pass as he rolled himself to the basket with a pick-and-roll.

The jazz did nothing to confirm Hayward's return. Instead of doing what most teams do in this situation, you'll have a tribute video during the game to honor the returning player's contributions. Instead, Utah has decided to publish one only on the official Twitter account of the afternoon.

Knowing what the response would be in the arena on Friday night, the team decided after a long pause that this would be the best course of action. Judging by the reactions in the arena during the game and the tweet itself, their position had some advantages.

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