Despite having the most memorable Jazz season in the post-Jerry Sloan era, Utah’s cache has been cut in half with the departure of Gordon Hayward. But it didn’t have to be this way, and it’s partially the organization’s fault that it is.
In the summer of 2014, the Jazz had the chance to offer Hayward five-year, $80 million max deal in free agency after they failed to agree to terms on an extension for the swingman’s services earlier that fall. Instead, the Jazz opted to let Hayward test the market.
That’s where things went down hill.
Yes, the Jazz went about things the right way. They built their team up through the draft and hired the perfect coach for their talent. But part of Hayward’s sudden departure has to fall on them. They could easily have, at least, one more season of Hayward in Utah. Now? We’ll never know what this team could’ve truly become.
There are more Kyries out there. There are other stars who would bristle at living in LeBron’s massive shadow, who would feel as though no matter the accolades they receive, or the money they earn, they were being shortchanged. There are more players who want exclusive glory, even if the glory comes less frequently. Kyrie isn’t alone.
But he’s the first true star to say no to LeBron, and he did it after living at the right Cheap Jerseys China hand of the King for three wildly successful years. For so long, many of us presumed that LeBron’s basketball nature made life inside his court easy. Perhaps that wasn’t an accurate assessment. Perhaps for a star who considers himself an equal to LeBron, living in the shadow is more tortuous than losing 50 games a year.
Kyrie may soon get the chance to remember what the latter Cheap Jerseys And Sunglasses feels like.