Gordon Hayward embracing the spotlight and ready to shine

CANTON, MA - SEPTEMBER 25: Gordon Hayward
CANTON, MA - SEPTEMBER 25: Gordon Hayward /

New Boston Celtics star Gordon Hayward is ready to shine under the spotlight in a city with a tradition of winning.

The Boston Celtics will finally get to see Gordon Hayward rock the green and white when the team opens its preseason schedule against the Charlotte Hornets Monday night.

Hayward, who signed a four-year, $128 million contract this off season, has pretty much gone under the radar in Utah.  That won’t be the case in Boston.  Reuniting with coach Brad Stevens, the All-Star scorer comes to the city of champions with high expectations under a spotlight he is ready to embrace.

"“It is different, and that’s something that’s different for me because I’ve flown under the radar since I’ve been in high school,” Hayward said about playing in a big market like Boston, via The Boston Herald.  “I don’t mind it like that.  Going into making this decision, we talked about how there’s going to be more of a spotlight.  I usually don’t worry about it and think about what can I do to make myself better.  What can I do to help the team, and all of the other stuff will take care of itself.”"

BOSTON, MA – SEPTEMBER 28: Gordon Hayward
BOSTON, MA – SEPTEMBER 28: Gordon Hayward /

Hayward is also entering a situation where someone else will grab most of the spotlight.  The trade bringing Kyrie Irving to the Boston Celtics may actually take some of the shine off the former Butler University star, but if the team under performs he knows he’ll hear it in Boston.

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Bright spotlight, big stage

But, like the professional he has been all his career, Gordon Hayward will focus on how he performs on the court and not worry about the outside noise.  That may be easier said than done in a place with high expectations like Boston, but he at least seems ready to embrace the shine of the big stage.

"“I knew a bigger market was going to mean a bigger spotlight,” Hayward said.  “That comes with it, but as a basketball player, you want to be playing in the biggest moments on the biggest stage, and when you finally get out on that stage, it’s just basketball.”"

Hayward will certainly get the opportunity to solidify his new marriage with the city of Boston.  Having a player like Kyrie Irving to share the spotlight with will help a great deal also.

Next: Boston Celtics: Why Gordon Hayward will prosper in green

As a superstar who has performed at the highest level on the biggest of stages, Irving will certainly help Gordon Hayward’s transition to Boston an easier one.