Celtics’ Gordon Hayward shares experience, initial concern after coronavirus suspension
Much like the rest of the league, Boston Celtics forward Gordon Hayward was taken aback by the sudden turn of events leading to the suspension of the 2019-20 NBA regular season due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Hayward and the rest of the Celtics were in Milwaukee at the time preparing to face the Bucks, when news broke that Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive for the highly-contagious disease.
“The first text was that a Utah Jazz player had tested positive for coronavirus and their game in Oklahoma City was canceled. And then our game was going to get canceled and then the whole season was suspended.”
It was March 11, and with no game the next night and the season up in the air, Hayward met with two assistant coaches at a nearby bar, where important questions were discussed.
The 6-foot-7 swingman shared the harrowing scene when he and his team realized that they faced both the Jazz and the Brooklyn Nets over the course over the course of the week. Utah had two confirmed cases in Gobert and Donovan Mitchell, while Brooklyn had four in Kevin Durant and three unnamed players.
“Do we have it and we don’t even know it? When are we going to get tested? All these things are going through our minds and we’re just trying to figure everything out like everyone else was,” Hayward bared.
Test results later revealed that Celtics point guard Marcus Smart was the only one who tested positive from the team. Hayward, however, remembered the dread he felt while waiting for his results.
The one-time All-Star was particularly concerned with the possibility of transmitting the virus to his loved ones. Hayward has three daughters while expecting another child with his wife Robyn.
“If my wife were to get it that could potentially be catastrophic and life-threatening for our baby and for her, so I wanted to make sure before I was able to come home that I was clear,” Hayward said. “We got tested a couple of days after we got home. I talked to the doctors and we determined that it was OK for me to go home, but I should keep my distance and not snuggle up to anybody until we got the results back and we were 100% sure.”