The Boston Celtics were thrilled when they learned they were the team forward Gordon Hayward wanted to sign with this offseason.
The former Utah Jazz star decided to sign with the Celtics over the Miami Heat and the Jazz and will now team up with his former college coach, Brad Stevens, to try to bring another title to Boston.
However, in the moments leading up to Hayward's decision, no one in the Celtics organization knew whether or not Hayward was choosing them, according to general manager Danny Ainge's son, Austin.
In an interview with the Boston Sports Journal, Austin said he and his family - including Danny - were helping his brother Tanner with his congressional campaign in Utah when the news broke:
"We were following along like everyone else," he explained. "I was at lunch with some members of our staff and someone checked their Twitter feed and goes, 'Twitter says we have Gordon.' And we go, 'That's weird...we would have heard. Let's call Brad, let's call everybody, make sure no one has heard.' And no one had heard so that was very weird.
"People in the media we trust were reporting it and we're just going, 'this is very strange.' Gordon's agent was telling us he hadn't made a decision yet. There was some confusion there for a minute and then a dead period where we're just sitting on pins and needles and waiting. I remember I was with my dad [Danny Ainge] at my brother's [Tanner Ainge] house. He was back and forth between campaign stops [for Congress] in Utah and he was getting a lot of attention on that at his campaign stops. We were laughing sitting there wondering what was going to happen."
Obviously, the tense moment quickly became a joyous one, as Hayward announced he was heading to Boston.
However, Austin said it was a weird feeling for the Ainge family, as they are Utah natives. He said everyone in Utah was polite about it, though:
"It was a very weird feeling being in Utah, listening to Utah talk radio and being with my brother who is out in crowds hearing about Gordon Hayward every stop he makes and us just sitting and waiting to see what happens," he said. "It was kind of surreal."
Though Tanner Ainge's congressional campaign may have taken a hit after his father pried the Jazz's star forward away from them, the Celtics' title chances greatly improved. Now, they have the firepower necessary to compete for a spot in the NBA Finals this upcoming season.News Now - Sport News