Hayward adjusting to NBA life

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SALT LAKE CITY -- The first week of training camp is old hat for Utah Jazz veterans, but for rookie small forward Gordon Hayward, it's a new day - and one that apparently begins with a quick trip to the bakery.

"I gotta go get the bagels," laughed Hayward, referring to his new rookie duties.

Hayward, who was taken 9th overall in the draft, talked about his typical day at camp.

"I like to get there early with some of the other rookies and we get some shots up before practice." he said. "Then, of course, we have practice; and after [practice] we get some more shots up."

Head coach Jerry Sloan's work ethic expectation is something of legend, so has anything surprised Hayward about the intensity of the two-a-day workouts?

"I don't know if anything surprised me." says Hayward. "I was able to go to summer league and we did similar stuff there so it was good for me to be able to go there and get a taste of what this veteran's camp was like."

Hayward has been around since Labor Day getting into shape for training camp is trying to find a "comfort level" as a rookie.

Said Hayward, "You've just got to find one. I think that just comes with being here and the more time you're here, you eventually get into that groove...Right now I've just been doing the same thing every single day..."

At the end of the day Hayward usually goes home, cooks a meal and tries to unwind from four hours of practice. So is he a rookie in the kitchen too?

"I'm not a good cook at all." admits Hayward. "But my father is here and we've kind of got a system going where I'll cook one meal and he'll cook the next one...Every once and a while neither one of us wants to cook so we'll go out to eat...but it's working out so far."

When asked if he felt confident of his place with the Jazz, Hayward responded affirmatively, saying, "In this type of environment, in this type of business...you really have to think you belong there and you're out there for a reason. I don't think they would have drafted me if the front office and the coaches didn't believe in me, so I believe in myself and I think it will be a good year."

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Dave Noriega


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