Blog Entry

Gordon Hayward to become pro Starcraft player

Posted on: September 7, 2011 7:01 pm
Edited on: September 7, 2011 7:18 pm
Posted by Ben Gollivergordon-hayward-dork

Utah Jazz forward Gordon Hayward isn't playing professional basketball overseas during the lockout. Instead, he's taking his talents to a galaxy far, far away. reports that Hayward will be playing video games professionally.
The 21-year-old Utah Jazz player has joined a professional video game league with IGN Entertainment. Hayward will compete with other eSports video athletes in a StarCraft II competition from Oct. 6-9 at Caesars Atlantic City in the IGN Pro League. Hayward is excited to be among 256 players shooting for a share of a $100,000 prize pool in IPL 3: Origins.

"I've been playing video games for as long as I can remember," Hayward said in a news release. "I'm a competitive guy, and I love the competitive nature of video games.

"Pro-gamers are really sports stars themselves," he added. "The mental strategy that goes into planning your next move and what your opponent is going to do are skills you need to be successful playing basketball — and playing StarCraft II. If you want to be good, you have to put a lot of time and effort into it, just like with other sports. I've got the best of both worlds."
Reeeee-orrrrr. Reeeeee-orrrrrr. Yes, that's the sound of your nerd alert being activated. It is a good thing Hayward waited until after Jerry Sloan retired to announce these plans. For everyone's sake.

But, wait, there's more. Hayward was asked in a promotional video interview to compare the stress of playing professional video games to the stress of the NBA. His response.
"I think you've got to look at the circumstances of each. If you're winning a Starcraft game for the championship at IPL for the six-figure pool prize, that's probably pretty stressful ... At the same time, if you're going to shoot a three-pointer to win the game with someone guarding you, that's pretty tough too. I'd say they are both tough in their own right."
The video and others can be viewed on Kristen Sharbaugh's account.

Well, not to go all Charles Barkley on you, but we have officially reached the point where we know for a 100 percent fact that the NBA is too soft. When a 21-year-old, 207 pound forward doesn't immediately recoil in horror when asked to compare the stress and rigors of the NBA to a freaking science fiction video game we know that the NBA game has been cleaned up too much.  If a Zerg attack really gets his blood pumping as much as a game-winning shot, that's a terrible look. We don't want to live in a world where this can be true, do we?

I guarantee that no NBA player in the 1990s ever said, "That karate chop from Ryu was pretty much the same as the haymaker Charles Oakley hit me with last night." Or, "Oh man, jumping off that hill in Excite Bike was so exhilarating it reminded me of the time Jeff Van Gundy prevented further chaos by clinging to Alonzo Mourning's leg." Never happened.

Hopefully Hayward's interview gets entered into evidence in the ongoing collective bargaining agreement negotiations so we can turn back the clock and undo this embarrasing chapter in the history of the league.

Since: Apr 4, 2009
Posted on: September 8, 2011 6:47 pm

Gordon Hayward to become pro Starcraft player

Way to look stupid, Ben Golliver.

Basketball is a game, Scarcraft is a game. One requires you to jump and run and throw a ball, that makes it better? Is chess somehow less of a game than Soccer? The NBA might require more athletic talent, but Starcraft is a workout for the brain. This isn't like streetfighter, this game makes streetfighter weep into the bossom of its female fighters.

Hayward is a stud for doing this, he's just shoving it back in the haters face. Haters can't play basketball as good as him, or play starcraft as good as him. Also, athletes who were in the league in the 90s didn't grow up with video games in their houses. With the advent of personal computing we have seen almost every child in america become familiar with game controls on a PC or console. 

Maybe the guy who wrote this article is in his 40s or something... IDK. 

Since: Aug 17, 2010
Posted on: September 8, 2011 6:45 pm

Gordon Hayward to become pro Starcraft player

I'm not going to comment on either side...because people here don't need to know what I think about this, but I do say I find it incredibly dumb that I see extremists literally wishing the otherside dead in arguments below. I'm talking people for the games and people against the games.

Since: Sep 8, 2011
Posted on: September 8, 2011 6:32 pm

Gordon Hayward to become pro Starcraft player

I registered a new account just to state how terrible of an article this is. To begin with Ben Golliver was a complete A-hole and took inaccurate lowblows at something he knows nothing about. He also took shots at a player who has done nothing to deserve insults of this nature.

I truthfully can't believe an editor allowed an article this hateful, inacurrate, and just outright childish to get posted. I would be embarrassed if I worked for CBS Sports and found this on the front page.  

Since: May 22, 2010
Posted on: September 8, 2011 6:10 pm

Gordon Hayward to become pro Starcraft player

There is no Butler magic in starcraft 2 and at the pro level its probably all beta testers that have a huge
advantage so really the NBA is Hayward's stress relief from SC2. 

Since: Mar 10, 2009
Posted on: September 8, 2011 5:56 pm

Gordon Hayward to become pro Starcraft player


I truly appreciate the passion of your comment. But you need to relax. Probably more so in the sports world than anywhere else (except maybe government and politics), a person's opinion is presented as cold, hard, irrefutable fact. That doesn't make it so, though. People on here, including me a lot of times, want people to agree (they also want everyone to know how cool, knowledgeable and well thought out they are) so they position themselves as being an expert and an opinion maker - including most of the writers.

So, instead of death threats and hate speech, try attacking with some solid research and an equally well thought out counter argument. You'll get much more support that way. The extreme reaction belies your (apparent) youth, inexperience and flappability.

Or, if Ben agrees to it, kick his butt in SC2. That'll show 'em. 

Since: Mar 10, 2009
Posted on: September 8, 2011 5:46 pm

Gordon Hayward to become pro Starcraft player

Not passing judgement, just making an observation: Many of the comments that are trashing the writer of this article and/or defending the "pro-ness" of video gaming are from accounts that were established TODAY. I would guess that this article not only made sports sites, but gaming sites as well, and that readers of the gaming sites are now participating on this sports site. 

So, love it or hate it, kudos to CBS for engaging a segment of the population that has elected not to participate until today.

Personally, I'm a Jazz fan and was VERY encouraged by GH's play late in the season - shutting down and outperforming the great Kobe, and all. Could not care less that he's also a gamer and takes it seriously. At least he's not being arrested on murder charges, enabling the beat-down of drug thugs, eating marijuana or the like. Get off the kid's back, already.

Can we please get the lockout over so that basketball sites report on basketball again? 

Since: Sep 8, 2011
Posted on: September 8, 2011 5:45 pm

Gordon Hayward to become pro Starcraft player

I hate the writer of this article anf the ignorance towards Esports with all of my heart.  I want you dead Ben Golliver, i would sign up to fight in a war to kill people like you.  I want needles to go into you eye until you are dead, that is just my opinion.  If i ever see you, please run because i will hunt you and whoop your old ignorant ass.

Since: Sep 8, 2011
Posted on: September 8, 2011 5:40 pm

Gordon Hayward to become pro Starcraft player

What the heck exactly makes someone a "nerd"? Like it just completely baffles me how this word is just flung around like, oh yeah everybody will understand what it means.

I'm a girl, and I play StarCraft 2, and I @#$%ing love it. At the same time, I go to an Ivy League school as a biology concentrator and studying pre-med. I love basketball; I absolutely adore the Celtics and I always have, since I grew up from around the area. Rondo will always be my favorite player and I will always cheer for the C's until my lungs are hoarse. Why can't you have two seemingly contradicting hobbies - eSports and athletic sports? Who are you to judge Gordon Hayward, and what is so bad about having contrasting interests - I like fashion and make-up, I like to play this science fiction "Starcraft 2" game you've probably never heard of. I like playing ultimate frisbee, and I like to sing and play guitar, what does that make me?

I play video games so I'm a nerd.
I like science so I'm a nerd.
I go to a good school and work hard... so I'm a nerd?

Who. Cares. Your ignorant article upsets me to no end, and quite honestly, I believe Hayward deserves an apology.

Either that, or to crush you in a 1v1 - basketball or otherwise. 

Since: Sep 8, 2011
Posted on: September 8, 2011 5:40 pm

Gordon Hayward to become pro Starcraft player

Ben how does it feel knowing that soon enough you will be out of a job and nobody is ever going to want to hire you as a journalist?

Must suck knowing you're going to starve

Since: May 17, 2007
Posted on: September 8, 2011 5:32 pm

Gordon Hayward to become pro Starcraft player

If you play video games when high, drunk or bored that's fine if you think it is a sport or is something to take seriously then you aren't a nerd you are a looooooser!

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or