Gordon Hayward knows a thing or two about basketball but the Utah Jazz star and franchise player also knows about another sport; video games and having the same passion for it as his love for basketball.
Hayward, writing for The Player’s Tribune, a website where current and former players share their thoughts about their careers—or other ventures, in Hayward’s case—confessed his love for video games and how proud he is to be one of the gamers in the world.
Hayward, who is the Jazz’s leading scorer this season averaging 19.9 points per game, admitted that gaming and gamers still is not understood or accepted by the general public or the average sports fan.
“Even though they’re an important pastime for millions and millions of people, there are still some serious stigmas surrounding gaming, for a variety of reasons. For one, our society’s conception of what a video game is has changed so drastically in the past two decades that unless you’re pretty plugged into the industry, it can be difficult to keep up. Non-gamers generally hear the term “video games” and immediately associate it with outdated stereotypes,” Hayward wrote.
Hayward explained that ever since he started playing video games as a child, it was a form of “relaxation” and “escape” for him and that being a gamer was and is just “really, really fun”.
Hayward also compared gaming to sports in general and how both can light the fire of competitiveness in him, which is what has drawn him to both.
“I’m a naturally competitive person. I enjoy being placed on an even playing field against a competitor and trying to outperform them. It drives me. Growing up, video games allowed me to feed this competitive drive while still hanging out with my friends and being a kid,” Hayward added.
Hayward talked in-depth of various video games in his article showing his deep love and knowledge for gaming and made a serious case for gamers around the world and that these e-sports athletes need to be taken seriously.
Watch Hayward in an interview in 2012 talking about his love for Starcraft:
Video courtesy: YouTube/KSL Sports
Led by Hayward, who also averages 5.1 rebounds and 3.7 assists this season, the Jazz are in a good position to make the playoffs. Utah is currently at 26-26 for eighth place in the Western Conference.
Aside from fighting for a playoff spot in the NBA, Hayward is also fighting a cause for all the gamers in the world:
“This isn’t a fad. It’s the future.” Hayward declared, or warned.
Photo courtesy: Instagram/gdhayward