Enes Kanter had some high praise for Gordon Hayward earlier today.
We all know what Gordon Hayward has been through over the past two years. He signed a max contract with the Boston Celtics during free agency in 2017. Fast forward to the beginning of that season and Hayward was being stretchered out six minutes into the game because of a gruesome leg injury. He came back last season, but just didn’t look the same.
One year removed from the worst seasons of his career, Gordon is ready to bounce back and be the player he came to Boston to be.
“I am excited. I think health-wise, I think mentally I feel a lot better going into this year,” Hayward said. “Not only just because I was able to train and kind of build some confidence that way. I think confidence comes from repetition more than anything and practice and the reps. But also just having a year with the guys. Getting a chance to be acclimated to the team and kind of the system that we’re in and that type of stuff too. So definitely feel a lot better and certainly excited about this year.”
Enes Kanter praised his former Jazz teammate for how far he’s come since the beginning of his career in Utah. He talks about how Hayward carries himself and how important he is to this team.
“It’s fun because I’ve seen him grow,” Kanter said. “It was my rookie year, he was there, it’s my ninth season and he’s still there and he’s been doing an unbelievable job. He’s keeping himself confident, he’s going to play more comfortable out there and he’s definitely one of the leaders of this team.”
Kanter was then asked if he believes Gordon Hayward is “back.” His answer will leave Celtics’ fans pretty hopeful for this upcoming season.
“He’s back,” Kanter replied. “He’s one-hundred percent back. A lot of people just said ‘Oh, if he’s going to be one-hundred percent back or not,’ he’s going to shock the world this year. I trust him and believe him. He’s going to do some amazing things this year, on and off the court.”
Enes Kanter is quickly becoming a fan favorite in Boston. He has nothing but great things to say about his teammates and wants to be a part of something special here in Boston. He wants to be the “glue guy” and hold everybody together throughout the season.
“I think I try to be that glue guy. I don’t know what [happened]; I wasn’t there last year, so I don’t want to judge or blame anybody,” Kanter said. “But I think this year, we have an amazing group of guys and I’m very excited to play with these guys. I think if you’re better friends off the court, it translates to on the court. That’s why it’s so important for players to just hang out together and go to a movie and things like that. You’re going to become even better friends and better teammates! What you do off the court definitely affects what you do on the court. This year, we have an amazing group of characters and it’s going to be an exciting season.”
As for Gordon Hayward, many are optimistic he can become the player he once was before coming to Boston. His time in Boston hasn’t been a memorable one, but there are many things to blame for that. If Hayward becomes the player he came to Boston to be, the Celtics can make a serious run at a championship next season.
Gordon Hayward was a superstar before, so who says he can’t return to that level again?
Photo: USA Today Sports