One of the more startling sights during this stay-at-home period of the coronavirus pandemic has been a clean-shaven Gordon Hayward, who, while others grow out their facial hair in isolation, has ditched what’s become a familiar beard and stubble.
During a lighthearted moment on a conference call with reporters Friday, Hayward explained the pressure he was facing at home to clean up.
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“Because I was home the whole time and wasn't able to go to the barber or anything, my beard was getting scraggly and (wife) Robyn was getting upset being around me all the time,” said Hayward. "So there was already a lot of tension going on with being at the house all day with everybody so I decided to shave it so I could release some of that tension for everybody.”
Here’s three more things we learned during Hayward’s 14-minute chat:
IDEA OF NO FANS A WILD THOUGHT
Hayward said he’s pondered some of the NBA’s potential return-to-action options but admitted the idea of playing inside empty arenas would be particularly awkward.
“Whatever scenario they come up with will probably be something none of us players have dealt with before,” said Hayward. “Whether it’s with everyone in Vegas or another location, maybe playing with no fans. Playing with no fans would be pretty wild, almost like a scrimmage at training camp. You have to bring all your own energy and homecourt advantage is pretty much thrown out the window at that point in time.
"And then also thinking about playing a shortened playoff, where that’s the case too, where it’s best of 5s, or less teams. I don’t know. I don’t think anybody really knows. There’s been a lot of speculation and it’s hard to envision. But I know whatever it is, it will be completely different and really interesting to see how it all plays out."
PELOTON RIDES AND ZOOM CONFERENCES TO STAY READY
Hayward echoed what teammate Enes Kanter said last week while noting it would probably take players two to three weeks to get back into game shape before a season could resume. Hayward offered insight into how he’s working out and staying connected to teammates.
"When it’s been nice out I’ve been running outside. And we have a Peloton so I’ve been doing the Peloton bike,” said Hayward. "And the team was able to bring over some weights, so I’ve done a lot of body weight stuff and then some dumbbells and a little bit of kettlebells — as much as I can from the physical side of it.
I think the mental and emotional part is certainly going to be something we’re all going to have to work through when we get back, because you just get in this mode and this mindset when you’re in the middle of the season. And then to just kind of not have that for however long a period this is going to be, it’s going to be an adjustment to get back into that. Especially if we get back and it’s almost right into the playoffs.
"You’ve gotta be to really turn it on there and get really locked in and focused again. Something that I think the staff and the coaches for us have talked to us about a little bit, and we’ve done some Zoom calls as a team, trying to still stay connected. And I think that will help us out when we get back.”
TAKING OFF THE TRAINING WHEELS
Hayward said he’s embraced being at home more, spending time with his three young daugthers (and a fourth child on the way). He’s trying to get his oldest girls to learn how to ride their bikes without training wheels — to limited success.
"When it’s nice out we’ve been trying to get [daughters Charlotte and Bernadette] outside, going on walks with the dog, trying to get the girls to learn to ride their bikes without training wheel,” said Hayward. "That’s not going too great right now. But I’m going to keep trying at that. Really just spending more time with them, just more of everything."