Gordon Hayward and Kyrie Irving had their introductory press conference Friday in Boston, and it was for the most part normal. Irving and Hayward talked about their excitement to be playing for the Celtics and getting a fresh start with a new organization. Hayward made a comment about his new fans that is causing some blowback from Jazz fans.
Hayward was asked about the loyalty of fans in Boston and how they'll just as quickly rip a player as they will praise one. Hayward, wanting to start off on the right foot with his new fanbase, mentioned how intelligent Celtics fans are. However, through a slip of the tongue he might have rubbed his former fans in Utah the wrong way.
"We've been in this league long enough to realize that it's like that. What's special about here is it seems like they're pretty educated towards fans here. So they know a little bit more. For us, at least for me individually, I never try to get too high on the high's or too low on the low's."
What Hayward said is what many Celtics fans have said about their fanbase for years. They're smart fans that understand the game and won't just praise someone because they're wearing a green jersey. That has been the reputation they've tried to create for themselves over the franchise's long, successful history. However, where Hayward slipped up is by saying "they know a little bit more" in the process of praising those same fans.
Jazz fans are already upset about Hayward leaving and the delayed response to the news breaking when it happened July 4 wasn't a fun experience for them. Now, as they try to move on, their former star player says his new fans know a little bit more. That isn't exactly a ringing endorsement. However, it's hard to believe that Hayward was intentionally taking a shot at Utah fans in these comments.
It's the introductory press conference and that means Hayward is going to try and heap nothing but praise on the new fanbase. Could his word choice have been better? Sure, but it's kind of silly to over-analyze every word and phrase.