It’s fairly common for players to buy newspaper ads to thank organizations and fans when they leave.
The Jazz turned the tables by buying full-page ads to thank Gordon Hayward, who bolted for the Celtics.
The Jazz are so nice. Hayward is a big meanie for leaving.
That’s what we’re supposed to read into this, right?
Maybe I’m being too cynical, but that’s how I take it.
Hayward flubbed his exit day – word leaking of his plan to sign with Boston followed by a denial followed by a Players Tribune article announcing his plan to sign with Boston. Delaying the reveal, even though the Players Tribune article included plenty of gratitude toward the Jazz, didn’t make anyone in Utah feel better. Hayward’s agent compounded problems by insisting Hayward was heartbroken over his decision, which mostly rang hollow and made Hayward look soft. If you buy the spin (don’t), Hayward hurt the Jazz one more time by not pushing for a sign-and-trade. (Boston instead cleared cap space by trading Avery Bradley to the Pistons.)
The Jazz won the PR battle in a landslide. It was over.
And, again, this might not be fair: But the full-page ads just feels like overkill, the Jazz rubbing in everyone’s face how classy they are, which wouldn’t be classy at all.