Utah Jazz fans were about as unhappy about Gordon Hayward’s return as you might expect.
Celtics star small forward Gordon Hayward returned to Utah on Friday night to take on his former team for the first time in green and gold. Hayward didn’t receive the warmest of welcomes in Salt Lake City as he was greeted by a chorus of boos during player introductions.
Hayward was also booed during warm-ups, laughing off what he definitely knew was coming.
“I fully expect Jazz fans to bring their A-game tonight, but before we play, thank you to everyone in Utah who supported me, especially during my recovery,” Hayward wrote on Twitter Friday. “I can’t tell you how much it meant. And now: Game on.”
The 28-year-old All-Star spent his first seven seasons with the Jazz, who took Hayward with the ninth overall pick in the 2010 NBA draft. Hayward left Utah for Boston in the 2017 offseason through free agency but missed last season’s Jazz-Celtics matchup while recovering from a season-ending left leg injury.
Utah’s official Twitter account seemed more excited to welcome the former franchise face back than their fans did.
Hayward is averaging 9.9 points, 5.6 rebounds and 2.2 assists through the first 10 games of the season for the Celtics.