Youre ignoring role: Rozier went from starting PG on an ECF team leading a game 7 with 5 minutes to play to a back-up PG sharing ball-handling duties with a guy who simply wasnt ready to do so for half the year. That breads animosity, especially so when considering that Terry is in a contract year.
This has been such a weird season, and it does seem like Hayward is a flashpoint. Soon after Charlottesville i realized Hayward’s stylish haircut (relative to college) is actually quite popular in the “alt-Right” circles. Others seem to have recognized this as well:
Not to mention notice of his past Instagram follows:
I always assumed Hayward’s look was a coincidence, as how can you function in the NBA if you’re a virulent racist? I know there’s talk about say Andrew Bogut, but I would figure (if true) that’s the exception that proves the rule. What really matters though is if teammates think it’s no coincidence.
That preseason (September 2017) the Celtics looked great with Hayward and Kyrie on the floor. Then the ankle injury happened and Hayward was the object of everyone’s empathy, with Paul George among others beyond the Celtics who advised and encouraged him. I don’t know that someone like Bogut would get that kind of encouragement in his day.
Until Hayward went down, it didn’t really matter what the others thought of him. Nor would we ever hear anything. He was an all-star and made everyone better on the court. He had much higher status.
Then we all know what happened last year through ECF Game 7. The others learned and proved their ability and worth on the court. Even Hayward to his credit said at Media Day that he has less playoff experience than his younger teammates.
Fast-forward this year and subpar Hayward gets installed into the starting lineup, with now-proven teammates downgraded in the pecking order. Of course your best team has Hayward at 100% so you want to give reps towards that end. But that seemingly contradicts Brad Stevens’s ongoing mantra to “earn your minutes”.
You have the coincidence of a white Indianan giving a seemingly unearned starting spot to his white Indianan college star at an 81 white student, 85% white faculty school
. A school that evokes the Hoosiers movie storyline, led by said white star who now sports the alt-right hairdo.
Ugly optics if you’re prone to look for such things. Yet who really amongst the Celtics is believed if not known to think deeply and intelligently about racial, cultural and socioeconomic issues? Who seems to think carefully about leadership and collective responsibility, and apparently is recognized for that based on NBAPA activity and tangible steps taken from a young age to build community amongst younger players? Who seems to have less respect from some on his own team than one would expect based on their leaguewide profile (on and off the court)? Who plays largely the same position on the court as the white college star, and loses directly in minutes, shots, and role with Hayward’s placement into the lineup?
Hayward should be free to have his own views. I’m betting they’re conservative but not white supremacist nor racist. But if teammates think things are racist, or that HE’s racist, that’s a huge problem.