Some believe Celtics coach Brad Stevens ‘babied’ Gordon Hayward this season
The Boston Celtics are heading into the NBA offseason with quite a few issues. Kyrie Irving appears to be on his way out of town in free agency and Al Horford has seemingly cut off contract talks as well. Now, there is some information coming out about why things didn’t work out for the Celtics in the 2018-19 season.
According to Sports Illustrated’s Chris Mannix, many in Boston felt that head coach Brad Stevens “babied” Gordon Hayward.
— First Things First (@FTFonFS1) June 20, 2019
The two go a long ways back to their days with the Butler Bulldogs in college. Stevens and Hayward nearly shocked the world to win the National Championship. That friendship may have come into play at times in Boston.
Hayward suffered a gruesome injury in the first game of the 2017-18 season. He missed the entire year and was obviously still trying to overcome the injury this year. While some may view bringing him along slowly and trying to put the ball in his hands more often “babying,” it is simply trying to get a star to play like his old self and have confidence in himself.
Anyone that gets jealous about a coach trying to help a star player come back from an injury seems to be a bit selfish.
Boston saw Hayward end up averaging 11.5 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 3.4 assists per game. He shot 46.6 percent from the field overall and knocked down 33.3 percent of his three-point attempts.
If the Celtics want to get back into contention without Irving and Horford, Hayward is going to be a big part of that. They will also be building around Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. Stevens has his work cut out for him moving forward.