It appears as though an unhinged Utah columnist has had a change of heart.
Gordon Monson, a radio host who also pens columns for the Salt Lake Tribune, has spent all season ethering Boston Celtics forward Gordon Hayward in varying think pieces. Whilst taking shots at Hayward’s character for leaving Utah (the nerve!), Monson also has had a field day trying to minimize what Hayward is able to do on the floor.
It was a compelling meltdown in a few parts to watch unfold, beginning with Monson’s column after Hayward left for Boston in free agency.
Here’s the lede he wrote after Hayward joined Boston.
“Goodbye, Gordon Hayward, we hardly knew you.
Not the real you.
Not the you who was ducking out down a back alley, looking for the easier route.”
After the Jazz got off to a slow start, they turned things around during the second half of the season. Said turnaround, coupled with Boston’s visit to Utah in late March, prompted Monson to write an outright bizarre (and patently false in many respects) hit piece on Hayward while saying the Jazz didn’t need him (the headline read: Gordon who? Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert are the kings of this town).
Here’s a snippet of that.
“It won’t be on account of Donovan Mitchell transforming himself in his rookie season into a better, more promising, more explosive player than Hayward ever was. His ceiling is higher than Hayward’s. His play more exciting. His athleticism, his talent, his popularity more profound. “And there’s no real revenge greater than simply replacing the dude who skipped town with a superior dude.”
So while the body of work is there to prove Monson has a fairly unhealthy amount of resentment toward Hayward, it appears he had an enlightenment of sorts.
Saturday afternoon, Monson sent out a tweet to a story with the headline: “What do the Jazz need now? The answer is plain — they need Gordon Hayward … or somebody just like him”
Here’s what Monson believes the Jazz need.
“He can shoot. He can score. He can play the wing. He can play defense. He can run. He can initiate the offense. He’s athletic. He’s heady. He understands what (head coach) Quin Snyder and the Jazz want to get done at both ends. And his current team, turns out, doesn’t really need him the way it thought it did.
The Jazz should acquire the man who never should have left them.
The Jazz need Gordon Hayward. If not Hayward, a player just like him.”
Now, don’t be fooled, Monson still indulges in shredding Hayward, calling him a “carpetbagger” that “strung them along.”
Nevertheless, given Monson’s sheer, and quite public, disdain for Hayward, it is a monumental, if not unprecedented, admission that maybe the Jazz could have used him.