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Gordon Hayward: NBA’s Most Frugal Sophomore
Posted By Joel Brigham On February 27, 2012 @ 12:00 pm In All,Main Page,NBA | No Comments
One of the questions media love to ask rookies during the first few weeks of their professional careers is what car they purchased upon receiving their first paycheck. The overwhelming majority go with a huge SUV loaded with luxury features, normally a Range Rover.
But second-year Utah Jazz swingman Gordon Hayward didn’t go that route. He famously purchased a brand new Honda Accord back in September of 2010, mere months after being selected 9th overall in that summer’s draft.
A year and a half later, Hayward is still very mindful of his money. In fact, the way he talks, that doesn’t really seem like it will ever change.
“I’ve got a budget. That’s my biggest thing,” Hayward told HOOPSWORLD during All-Star weekend in Orlando. “You just make sure you don’t go over that. I’m prepared so that I don’t have to work for the rest of my life as long as I stick to this budget.”
While Hayward clearly has a different perspective on money than some players, he thinks the work the NBA has done to help young players think differently about how they spend has been a big help for him and many of his colleagues.
“As rookies you come in and go through the Rookie Transition Program, and they tell you about everything,” Hayward explained. “[The NBA] did a tremendous job with those three days of getting us all the resources we need, getting us enough phone numbers and introducing us to enough people, telling us how to plan our money for the rest of our lives. They did a really good job of that.”
Of course, not all players are quite as frugal as this young man. Few come close, actually, but Hayward has never judged another player for indulging himself on more than just the bare minimum to get by. These aren’t paupers we’re talking about, after all.
“You can’t judge one guy based on what he spends because everybody has different situations. People get paid a lot of money to play this game. I’ve seen some really nice cars, obviously some really nice houses. I don’t have any of that yet, but it’s cool to see some of those things.”
Financially, Hayward has had his life together for quite a while, but on the court he’s just starting to figure out how to put everything together. This year he’s seen his minutes jump and his numbers almost double across the board. He’s finding the same confidence on the floor that he’s got with his cash, and that’s a good thing for the Utah Jazz.
“As you keep getting more and more minutes on the court, you’re able to just play and not think as much,” he said. “That’s one of the toughest things about coming to the NBA from college, knowing when to take shots, knowing when to step up, and knowing when it’s your time to break the play and do your thing. I’m starting to figure all that out.”
It’s easy to forget about a kid like this, but he’s quietly turned himself into one of the better sophomores in the league this year. There’s a reason he was added to the Rising Stars game this past weekend, and it has nothing to do with what kind of car he owns.
Though, if his drives to the lane stay as savvy as the vehicle he drives, he’s going to be just fine.
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