If you were to make a list of NBA players least likely to receive a technical foul, Gordon Hayward might top that list. Or bottom it, I guess, depending on your view of things. What I’m trying to say is that you wouldn’t expect Gordon Hayward to get very many technicals because he seems so nice.
And if you assumed that, you’d be right. Well, until last night at least, when Hayward got his first technical. Ever. At any level. From the Deseret News:
The “T” he received for trying to get separation from the Clippers’ feisty guard, Mo Williams, on an inbounds play was the first tech Hayward has ever received.
Yes, ever. Counting his NBA career, including his two seasons at Butler and those years at Brownsburg (Ind.) High School, even back to his youth hoops days.
Just like that, Gordon Hayward’s pretty boy image has gone up in flames. Once upon a time he was a likeable bloke who was a college hero turned smiley Jazzyman. Now he’s an uncontrollable psycho who can’t control his temper and will probably cost the Jazz a playoff game with an untimely T.
Joking, duh. He’s Gordon Hayward. It took him 21 years to get his first tech, so he’ll be 42 the next time he gets whistled. Even with the training improvements we’ve seen lately, there’s no way he’s still playing then. So unless you’re watching Hayward hooping in the Over-40 Brownsburg Township Men’s League, you might have missed this rare occurrence. ‘Tis the Halley’s comet of NBA infractions.
As you might expect, Hayward wasn’t quite sure how to react after his first ever technical.
“A lot of people were happy about it,” he said, “which is kind of weird.” [...]
“I don’t know,” Hayward said. “It’s $2,000 wasted.”
I just ran the numbers, Darren Rovell-style, and found out that this $2,000 will be 0.02 percent of Hayward’s salary by the time his contract is finished, so he doesn’t need to worry about it that much. He should just enjoy his new status as the team’s resident rude boy while it still lasts. Maybe get one more technical this weekend, just to prove a point. If he picks up a second, he’ll tie Paul Millsap and Earl Watson for the team lead.
But it’s a slippery slope. One day you’re getting your first technical ever and everyone thinks it’s adorable, the next you’re covered in tattoos with a mysterious white patch of hair on the back of your head and you can’t stop buying headbands. Be careful, Gordon Hayward.