Recently, on his personal website, Utah Jazz small forward Gordon Hayward displayed how he’s learning from the NBA‘s best small forward LeBron James. However, this new move had nothing to do with what goes on on the basketball court. Instead, it had everything to do with what goes on off of it.
More than a week after the Jazz chose to match the four-year, $63 million offer sheet that was offered by the Charlotte Hornets, Hayward finally decided to break his silence on his new contract and wrote a lengthy blog post about his newly signed deal. While Hayward’s situation was a little different than James’ being restricted instead of unrestricted like “The King,” the medium and message were very much the same.
Hayward mentions how he wants to “create a legacy” in Utah and build upon it; in other words, to eventually win a championship. In a comparable way, James also said in his essay–in much more plain language–is that he hopes to bring a championship to the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Another similarity is how both players do their best in these writings to try and win over fans. While James didn’t have to put much effort into trying to win over any Cleveland fans (more so NBA fans in general), Hayward certainly does have something Jazz fans have a tough time accepting: his four-year, $63 million contract.
Hayward was smart to write this post with the hope to lessen some of Jazz fans’ angst of the new contract and try to build bridges in the Salt Lake community. (Moreover, his post, while not as elegant as James’ essay, was at least more genuine as he didn’t have a Sports Illustrated senior writer ghostwriting the piece for him.) Now, if Hayward could actually just learn some of James’ on-court moves, the money wouldn’t be such an issue for some Jazz fans.