Gordon Hayward has played incredibly well this season. Please enjoy this poem about him.
The poem “Casey at the Bat,” by Ernest Lawrence Thayer, except it’s the poem “Gordon in the NBA,” by Shea Serrano
The outlook wasn’t brilliant for the Utah Jazz this decade:
In the postseason only once since 2011, and lost all four of the games they played.
And when Enes Kanter was shipped off, and then Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap, too,
Fans of the team — green and purple and gold — were left feeling only blue.
A straggling bunch got up to go in deep despair, to find new teams,
While the rest clung to that hope, remembering their pick-and-roll dreams;
They thought, If only we could find a hero to save us from the night —
We’d put up even money, now, that we’d make it out alright.
And one day their hero arrived, and he was as perfect as could be;
He was fast and smart and brave, and a beautiful sight to see.
His skin a flawless alabaster, his hair enough to make you shout, “Hooray!”;
Gather round, gather round, Jazz fans declared: Gordon Hayward is in the NBA.
He was once nearly a legend, mere inches from immortality;
It was the 2010 NCAA championship game, Butler vs. Duke University.
With but seconds left to go, and his team down by only two,
He grabbed a rebound, turned around, and knew exactly what to do.
From half court he fired up a potential game-winning heave.
It hung in the air for days; watching the ball fly, it was impossible to breathe.
The shot missed the net, but all were inspired by his play;
First round; ninth pick; that summer; Gordon Hayward was in the NBA.
There was ease in Gordon’s manner as he stepped into his place;
There was pride in Gordon’s bearing and a smile lit Gordon’s face.
And when, responding to the cheers, he lightly doffed his jersey their way,
No stranger in the crowd could doubt ’twas Gordon Hayward in the NBA.
And still, his first season in Utah was slow, only 17 games did he start;
But his skill was undeniable, and there was no questioning his heart.
He grew better every game, and he grew better every week,
And he grew better every month, slowly stretching toward his peak.
2014: He hit a game winner against the Cavs and he dunked Joel Freeland into ash.
The Mavs took his Jazz to the wire in 2016, but his shot to end the game was cash.
He made Delonte West mad in a 2012 game in Utah, and so West did something silly;
He stuck his finger in Gordon’s ear; HE GAVE GORDON A WET WILLY.
From the stands, full with people, there went up a muffled roar,
Like the beating of the storm-waves on a stern and distant shore;
“Kill him! Kill Delonte!” shouted someone on the stand;
And it’s likely they’d have killed him had not Gordon raised his hand.
With a smile of Christian charity, great Gordon’s visage shone;
He stilled the rising tumult; he bade the game go on;
He walked away from Delonte, arms up, showing his mercy to the crowd;
After the game, his response came with a smile: “Certainly a wet willy … shouldn’t be allowed.”
“Fraud!” tweeted the maddened thousands of West, and echo answered “Fraud!”
But one scornful look from Gordon and the masses were all awed.
They saw his face grow stern and cold, they saw his muscles strain,
And they knew that Gordon would never let anyone stick their finger in his ear ever again.
Since that day, his impact has grown, his reputation now shines afar,
Matter of fact, just earlier this season Gordon was selected as an All-Star.
Damian Lillard didn’t make it, nor did Chris Paul, which feels quite extreme;
Nor did Mike Conley, nor LaMarcus, nor C.J.; but Gordon made the team.
This season has been his best; career highs in true shooting percentage and points scored;
And it’s also been his best if we’re looking at his number of boards.
The Jazz will make the playoffs again, the first time in many a year, if not a day;
Gather round, gather round, basketball fans can declare: Gordon Hayward is in the NBA.