The Utah Jazz are sad to see NBA All-Star Gordon Hayward leave for the Boston Celtics, but they still bought a full-page ad in the Salt Lake Tribune to thank him for what he’s done for the team and the city these last seven years.

It read:

“Thank you, Gordon.

“For always giving us your best. We’ve enjoyed the game-winning shots and watching you become an NBA All-Star, and we’re proud of your growth as a husband, father and teammate.

“We wish you and your family happiness and success as you move on with your career.

The Miller Family and Utah Jazz


A few days before, Hayward wrote his own “Thank you, Utah” note in The Players’ Tribune.

First, though, if you don’t mind, I would really like to just take a moment and express how much these last seven years in Utah have meant to me. Because there’s only one fair way to say it: They’ve meant everything.

When I got to Salt Lake City, in the summer of 2010 — I know it’s a cliché, but man, it’s the truth: I was just a kid. I remember the drive. I drove all the way there, with my dad, from Indiana to Salt Lake City, just to save money. I knew I had all of these expectations as a top 10 pick … but at the same time, I was only 20. This was my first job away from home. And I was so nervous about everything that was in front of me. I remember my first real routine as a pro — finding a Subway near me (well, a mile or two away), and just walking there, every day, so I could use my Subway card like I always had. And that was really it for me, at first: Practice, and Subway, and video games. I was pretty closed off.

And then I just think about how far I’ve come during my time here. I’ve truly grown up in Salt Lake. I’ve become a man, and I’ve become a professional. I’ve gone from being a kid … to now having a wife and two kids. I’ve gone from having anxiety over leaving my family … to now having a family of my own. A lot has happened to me during my time here, and I honestly can’t think of any part of it that I haven’t cherished. This is a special place, and I know that the impression it’s made on me will long outlast the impression I’ve made on it.

You can read the rest of his article here.

What classy moves by the Jazz and by Hayward.