Gordon Hayward situation: Leave free agent recruitment to the professionals

Gordon Hayward situation: Leave free agent recruitment to the professionals


It used to be when college coaches grew up, they realized begging 18-year-olds to play for their school was, at best, anxiety-inducing. But often it was mortifying.

OK, there’s some of that in everybody’s job.

Still, at least if a coach moved to the pros, there wasn’t such thing as recruiting. Nowadays, it’s a different story. For instance, the wooing of free agent Gordon Hayward.

You might think things like the #Stayward campaign would be limited to small markets. Not so. Check out this column I wrote in June.

Meanwhile, Miami, the nation’s ninth-largest market (combined statistical area), had this on the street leading to the Heat’s arena on Saturday:

Boston stayed a bit more low key in recruiting Hayward, but not much. It put up a video inside Fenway Park:

You would think talking to a player would be enough to convince him whether to play for your team. Show him the sights, even. But is anyone really going to say, “Hey, I like the banner. Where do I sign?”

In the rush to make sure no stone is left unturned, these things happen. Then the fans take it from there.

I credit the Jazz organization with not doing anything too goofy. It knows what it has to sell, and so does Hayward. The #Stayward campaign was a private endeavor.

But it makes you wonder where this all will end. Will a city someday name a street after a free agent it is courting? They can always change it back later.

Although Jazz fans complain about the problems of competing with bigger markets, that will only get tougher. New York can make a Broadway production. Los Angeles can make a movie. San Francisco can, well, build a bridge.

But as someone on Twitter said when I ranted about keeping politics separated from sports, i.e. the Danny Ainge-Hayward drama, “You can’t stop us.”

He’s right about that.

When it comes to linking Ainge to a Utah political campaign, thanks to free agency, people should be mature enough to stop themselves.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

Published at Mon, 03 Jul 2017 15:56:00 +0000