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Gordon Hayward, Brad Stevens: A mutual admiration 11.07.13 at 2:02 am ET
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As the Celtics watched film of Gordon Hayward prior to hosting the Jazz, Brad Stevens couldn’t contain his praise for the best player he ever coached at the collegiate level.

“You could kind of see,” said Celtics guard Phil Pressey as a knowing smile came to his face. “He talked about every single player, but as soon as he brought up Hayward, he kind of gave a couple more details about him.”

And Stevens’ first NBA win was no different from so many at Butler: Hayward was the best player on the floor.

“He’s a lot better than when I coached him, and man was he good when I coached him,” said Stevens after watching the Jazz guard drop 28 points, nine rebounds and five assists on his Celtics. “I thought he was the best player in college at the time, and man has he improved. I’m proud of him.

“I can’t tell you what that feels like, because I was there when he was a puppy … and nobody was recruiting him. And it was like, ‘You think we should offer that guy a scholarship? Nobody’s looking at him. Nobody’s even in the building.’ It was probably a good decision, in retrospect. He’s awfully good.”

Let’s just say the feeling is mutual.

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