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Ex-Jazz teammate Hood: Hayward decision surprising, but 'I support him'


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SALT LAKE CITY — Gordon Hayward met with Jazz brass last Monday to discuss his future as a free agent before announcing Tuesday that he would be joining his college coach in Boston.

His decision, though, was a surprise until the big day — even to his (now former) teammates.

“We had a really good conversation after he met with the Millers,” Rodney Hood told KSL Sports while hosting a charity golf tournament for the Boys and Girls Club of Weber and Davis counties. “He did a pretty good job of hiding (his decision).

“I support Gordon. He’s a guy that I’ve been in the trenches with, and he decided to do something different. I don’t think there’s nothing that the Jazz could have done better.”

Hood said he doesn’t feel “betrayed” or “hurt” after Hayward helped Utah to its first playoff appearance in five years during the 2016-17 season.

“He’s still a really good friend of mine. I support him,” Hood said. “It’s tough. It hurt a little bit, but it’s part of the business.

“It’s easy to be hurt right now, but at the same time, that’s a guy that was there for me and everything I’ve been through. It’s easy to be hurt because he left — but he’s a grown man. He made a decision, and he’s got to live with it.”

Click the video above for Hood’s full interview and reaction to Hayward’s decision day.

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Rod Zundel

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