On Independence Day, Gordon Hayward declared his independence from the Utah Jazz. Let the howling begin.
A few set fire to their expensive Hayward jerseys…He was denounced as a traitor…Some sent online wishes the he become injured and not play next season…His gratitude and leadership abilities were questioned…People who seldom follow professional sports were wailing that Utah was once again being snubbed for their more bright and shiny competitors…The political career of Tanner Ainge, the son of Boston Celtics president, Danny Ainge, was slammed to the mat…There was more shaking of heads than when Roseanne Barr sang the national anthem.
As for me, I was amused by the commotion. Your neighbors often switch jobs and employers, yet for of us dismiss them as ungrateful and disloyal. We figure they have good reasons. And, in the case of Hayward, he has a much better chance of playing in the NBA finals with the Celtics than he did with the Jazz.
For the Jazz, it sucks. For the fans, it’s a kick in the gut. Both will recover, just as both did when John Stockton retired to Spokane and Karl Malone chased his dream with the Lakers.
I just wish all the upset Jazz fans would channel their anger and concern into matters that actually impact their lives. A Utah Jazz win on a Gordon Hayward put-back didn’t boost their retirement funds or pay their health insurance premium.
Hayward broke your heart? You should feel heartbroken that your congressional delegation is on board with a health care bill which reportedly would increase by 72 percent the number of your neighbors who are uninsured. Don’t feel sad for the Jazz. Feel sad for the thousands of M.S. and cancer victims who will lose treatment.
Concerned about the Jazz future? You should be more concerned about North Korea’s launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile. A friend of mine recently cancelled three million-dollar business projects. He couldn’t pick Hayward out of a police lineup, but he’s nervous about a bellicose Trump starting a war in Asia.
Angry about the hefty salaries of professional athletes? You should be angry that our economic model and tax code has led to some 2 percent of the most wealthy Americans receiving about 70 percent of the financial rebound since the 2008-2009 recession.
Frustrated that Hayward can readily leave Utah without a whimper? Compare that to the 400,000 men, women, and children who have fled Mosul, Iraq in the last two months. Unlike Hayward, they have nowhere to go. Unlike Hayward, they have spent years dodging aerial bombardments, snipers, and car bombs.
I have a healthy interest in sports and I wish Hayward had stayed. He’ll never become the idol in Boston that he would have become in Utah. He’ll probably be seen as a pretty good player on a very good team.
But to Utah Jazz fans, don’t let Hayward keep you up at night. Save your outrage for things that really matter.
The opinions stated in this article are solely those of the author and not of iron County Today