USA Basketball cut Utah Jazz guard Trey Burke even before it started getting into the thick of its mini camp. At that point, you had an inkling the stay for Jazz forward Gordon Hayward in red, white and blue might be a rather short one.
Nope. Hayward is proving that men with Utah Jazz ties can indeed play well enough to stick around on Team USA in this day and age. Not only is Hayward on a cloud after getting a $40-plus million contract and getting married--the dude from Butler is proving he can ball with some of the NBA's best.
Hayward got rave reviews in Las Vegas after he had a seven point, three assist and three rebound effort in the Blue-White scrimmage--halted due to a freak injury to Paul George.
Hayward has lived to fight on for another day, or another mini camp, with the announcement on Tuesday, August 5 that he, along with 15 other hopefuls, have been named as finalists for the World Cup team set to do battle in Spain later this month.
First things first though; Hayward and the other 15 hopefuls--former Jazzman Kyle Korver included--must first compete in yet another minicamp in Chicago before the final 12 players on Team USA will be chosen. Does Hayward stand a chance? Listen to what USA Basketball coach Mike Krzyzsewski had to say.
“Gordon has been a part of our program and this isn’t the first time we’ve had a chance to work with him,’’ Coach K said in a conference call Tuesday. “We think he’s one of the really good young players in the league. I love his versatility and the fact that he’s 6-8 and strong.’’
Hayward, who is also branching out into the world of journalism--who isn't?--had his own article on Tuesday outlining the day's events and how it pertained to the man they call G-Time. Like most blogs it had a slew of tweets from Hayward and others and very little in terms of compelling content.
Look, if you just made $40-plus million on a contract you could not only start your own blog, you could probably create your own little media world, too. That's precisely what Hayward has done here. As for former Jazzman Paul Millsap, he was not as fortunate. Millsap was listed among the three players who were cut by Team USA on Tuesday.