SALT LAKE CITY — On Friday, some Utah Jazz fans got antsy when they found out that Gordon Hayward bought a home in Southern California.
Does this mean he doesn’t like Utah?
That he’s headed to the dreaded Lakers?
Or the Clippers?
Or … or … or what!?
While fans freaked out about that, Hayward, the thrifty young man who bought a Honda Civic with his first NBA paycheck, was less than thrilled that the L.A. Times even brought the fact that he purchased a $3.35 million vacation home — or a tennis court estate, as the article put it — in Rancho Sante Fe.
“It is definitely kind of annoying just because you’d like to have a little bit of privacy with things you do off the court,” Hayward said after Saturday’s practice. “Everything on the court is wide open and everything. But it is what it is.”
Hayward will have plenty of privacy when he visits his vacation home near San Diego. The 7,550-square-foot Spanish-style casa has six bedrooms, eight bathrooms, a detached pool/guest house, maid quarters, a lighted tennis court and a swimming pool and spa, according to the article.
Hayward, who loves to play tennis, was shocked that anyone found out about his real-estate purchase, which he got for about $250,000 lower than the original listing price, by the way.
“It’s weird how that happens because we didn’t tell anybody and it just kind of got out, I guess,” Hayward said. “I’ve got a lot of people that said things about it. I’ve got a house here (in Utah). This is my primary residence.”
This was a lesson for Hayward, who signed a four-year, $63 million contract last summer, about how people are interested in the lifestyles of the rich and famous.
“Now that it’s out there, you just realize it kind of comes with the job,” he said. “I think the better that we get as a team, the more and more we’ll be in the national spotlight and national media. I’ve just got to deal with it, I guess.”
ALL ABOUT THE JAZZ: Coach Quin Snyder gave his players Friday off after they wrapped up a 3-4 preseason Thursday, giving the Jazz three days of practice before they leave for Detroit where they open the season Wednesday night.
Utah will zone in on the Pistons eventually, but the team is all about fine-tuning its own act before worrying about anyone else.
“Our focus right now is on us,” Snyder said. “And it’s really us finding and reacquainting ourselves with who we are as a team that defends, as a team that rebounds and is possession conscious.”
Hayward said this is like any extended break during the season when the team can work on some things it needs to before game-planning for an opponent.
“We have a system and we have principles no matter who we’re playing that are always going to stay the same,” Hayward said. “We have absolutes and today we were able to work on a lot of those things.”
SEAL OF APPROVAL: Snyder thinks USA Basketball made a wise choice in its decision to have Spurs coach Gregg Popovich replace Duke's Mike Krzyzewski as the national team head coach from 2017-20.
“Obviously with Coach Pop it makes complete sense,” said Snyder, who worked with Popovich in the Spurs' system from 2007-10 and has played for and coached under Krzyzewski. “You’re talking about two people who served in the military — at West Point (Coach K) and the Air Force Academy (Popovich). Their lives have a patriot quality. It’s unique. It’s pretty special.”