Having continually ridden a rollercoaster of emotion with every piece of Gordon Hayward news, those who bleed Celtics green were once again getting excited on Friday.
The Player’s Tribune had released a video of Hayward going through an intensive dribbling workout and looking every bit like a player who had not recently suffered one of the most gruesome injuries in sports.
The road back with @GordonHayward.
Coming soon. pic.twitter.com/Rp4GT8zDkB
— The Players' Tribune (@PlayersTribune) March 2, 2018
It was the natural cue for the general basketball public to wildly overreact.
But on Saturday Celtics coach Brad Stevens was quick to hose down anyone who was getting too far ahead of themselves.
“He’s not playing this year, I don’t know what else to say,” he told reporters.
Previously, Stevens and Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge had stated Hayward was making encouraging progress, but stressed he still hadn’t been cleared to run under his full body weight; nor was he ready to travel with the team.
But skipping back to the present and with nothing else to contribute on the Hayward front, Stevens shifted his focus to having some fun with the reporters.
When told the Player’s Tribune video marked the first time anyone had seen Hayward jump since the injury, Stevens deadpanned, “Did he dunk?”
Another reporter later playfully asked if he should ask Stevens for a fresh update on Monday.
“Yeah, check back tomorrow,” Stevens said with a smile, before joking, “He’ll be doubtful Monday.”