Gordon Hayward‘s reunion with former college coach Brad Stevens with the Boston Celtics has been well-publicized at this point. In fact, it was considered a major factor in his decision to sign with Boston over a team like the Miami Heat, or rejoining the Jazz team he broke into the league with.
It’s probably been a bit lost in Kyrie Irving’s arrival to Boston and his galaxy brain takes about how the universe works, but people in Boston are certainly excited about seeing what Hayward can do now that his former Butler coach is running the show for the Celtics.
Hayward himself has talked about his friendship with Stevens and how familiar he is with his coaching style. In fact, Hayward said it’s a bit eerie to be back with the coach who he went to the NCAA championship game with back in 2010.
“Coach Stevens has been my friend, when he was still at Butler, when he was with the Celtics,” Hayward told Bleacher Report. “Like, I’ve called him before just to say what’s up and to talk.”
This is a bit different than what Hayward has said about his relationship with Stevens before they were reunited in Boston. In July, Hayword appeared on Adrian Wojnarowski’s podcast and said his relationship with the Celtics coach was “completely overhyped.”
But it seems like that posturing was to prevent any tampering accusations. In the B/R article, Hayward notes that he did not speak to him before July 1 “just for rules’ sake pretty much.” When he did get in touch, though, it was a very familiar feeling for the free agent.
“I didn’t get a chance to call him before July 1st, just for rules’ sake pretty much. But on July 1st, he called me. I don’t know if weird is the right word, but it was almost like deja vu of seven years before, when he’s recruiting me and he was just an assistant at Butler.”
Those around the Celtics have said that the two have an unspoken language of sorts, which certainly bodes well for team chemistry moving forward. Now that they’re reunited both parties seem pretty excited about the season and what’s coming next for Boston. They no longer have to hide their friendship from anyone.