Celtics' Gordon Hayward Will No Longer Leave NBA Bubble for Birth of His Child

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorSeptember 20, 2020

Boston Celtics forward Gordon Hayward (20) handles the ball during the first half of an NBA conference final playoff basketball game against the Miami Heat on Saturday, Sept. 19, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press

Boston Celtics forward Gordon Hayward, who returned Saturday after missing one month with a Grade 3 ankle sprain, will not leave the league's Walt Disney World campus to be present for the birth of his child as previously planned, per ESPN's Rachel Nichols.

"Gordon Hayward was originally supposed to leave the bubble for the birth of his fourth child, but since he just got a bunch of unexpected time with his family due to his injury, he told me the current plan is to stay with the Celtics for as far as they go," Nichols tweeted Saturday.

Hayward suffered the injury Aug. 17 and left the NBA campus near Orlando, Florida, to recuperate. He returned to Florida in early September.

Hayward originally told reporters that he would leave the bubble for the birth of his fourth child back in early July.

"There'll be a time if and when we're down there and she's going to have the baby, I'm for sure going to be with her," Hayward said regarding Robyn, his wife.

"We'll have to cross that bridge when we get there."

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He explained his decision further.

"It's a pretty easy decision for me on that. I've been at the birth of every one of my children, and I think there are more important things in life. So we'll cross that bridge when we get there.

"I know the NBA has a protocol for that type of thing, and hopefully I can do the quarantining and testing the appropriate amount of time and then be back with the boys."

Plans changed when Hayward suffered the ankle injury and ended up spending time with his family back home, however.

Hayward, who averages 17.5 points, 6.7 rebounds and 4.1 assists per game, rejoins a Celtics team that lost its first two Eastern Conference Finals games against the Miami Heat. Boston held double-digit leads in the second half of both games but could not pull out the win.

Hayward entered the rotation for Game 3 and came off the bench Saturday.