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Gordon Hayward will temporarily leave Celtics in September for birth of fourth child

Hayward indicated his plan will be to leave and return to the Celtics after the birth

Boston Celtics v Indiana Pacers Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

During his media availability Friday morning, Boston Celtics wing Gordon Hayward highlighted one of the hardest parts of the NBA being isolated in a campus at Walt Disney World is leaving his family. He spoke about how hard it will be to leave his wife Robyn and their three daughters for months. Hayward said “Leaving the girlies is going to be really hard.”

But what really hit home is that Robyn is due to have the couple’s fourth child sometime in September. That could be in the middle of the second round or the start of the Conference Finals for Boston.

Hayward said he’ll be leaving the Celtics when Robyn goes into labor. He said “That’s a pretty easy decision. I’ve been there for the birth of all of my children.” Hayward went on to say his plan will be to return to the team after the birth, but that he’ll have to go through quarantine protocols when he returns. Hayward said “We’ll cross that bridge when we get there.”

Like it is for many players, the decision to leave their families for months is a tough one. For Hayward, he’s focused on trying to win a championship for Boston. “I think the opportunity to compete for a championship, play for a title is something that a lot of us NBA players, we want to do. We want to go down there and continue the season and try to finish something that we worked for all year.”

Hayward said he believes the Celtics, and most teams, will rely on their defense early: “It usually takes time for the offense to get your groove going. I’m confident we’ll get into that rhythm, but I think our defense will help us. Our depth and versatility will give us a chance by us being tough defensively.”

As for his own physical condition, Hayward said he still has lingering soreness in his left foot. He said he wishes he had an answer why it’s still sore, but that he believes it relates back to his injury on opening night of the 2017-18 season. Hayward said “It’s still a little sore and it is what it is at this point.” He went on say that he’s been working on staying fit during the hiatus and that his foot does feel “a lot better.”

When asked to reflect on his time in Boston, as it was almost three years ago that Hayward signed with the Celtics, he laughed and said “I can’t believe it’s already been three years.” Hayward went on to speak about the injury being part of his story with Boston. He said going through that has made him mentally tougher, and that he’s grown in how he sees the mental part of playing basketball since signing with the Celtics.

Hayward has a player option for the 2020-21 season, but that he “hasn’t given a lot of thought to that. I’ve been focused on this season restarting.”

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