Gordon Hayward has said repeatedly during his recovery from the devastating ankle injury that ended his first Celtics season before it even started that the mental aspect of the comeback was the toughest.
He reiterated that on Barstool Sports' "Pardon My Take" podcast released Wednesday when he answered honestly to hosts Big Cat and PMT Commenter that the Celtics' success without him bothered him a little bit.
"I don't think you'd be human if there wasn't a part of you that was like, 'I hope that we lose,'" Hayward said (it's about at the 40-minute mark of the podcast).
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"[Being irked at the team's winning] happened, too, at the very beginning of the season," he said. "Like, I got hurt, I think we lost our first two games, but then we went on like an 18 or 19 game win streak [Actually, it was 16]. And I was laying in bed like 'Come on! What's going on?' There's a part of me that's like, 'Dude, they are winning without me, what's the deal?' But then there's another side of me that's like, 'Okay, this is why I came to Boston. We're going to be good, we're going to have a chance to win the whole thing.' Rooting for them, these are your teammates."
And all those Instagram videos and tweets of the progress he was making in his recovery last season? Hayward says it was part of a little cat-and-mouse game with Celtics coach Brad Stevens.
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"When it was April and I still hadn't run yet, it was kinda like the book was shut [on a playoff comeback], Hayward said. "I think it's funny that I'd do an Instagram post of me doing stationary dribbling and shooting on the day after Coach Stevens said 'he's wasn't coming back' and there'd be all this hype about maybe he's coming back. He got a little pissed about that...but we had a good laugh about it."