As thrilling as a clash of titans like Warriors-Cavs can be, a nearly equal joy in NBA basketball is the potpourri of endless off-court machinations, petty squabbles, and frivolous storylines.
Where else but the NBA do you get comedy like this, this, or this? It’s a league of spectacle as much as it is a league of basketball.
And now we’re entering the NBA’s silly season, otherwise known as its summer free-agency period. This is a time during which executives and players try to recruit stars who are between contracts — and fans obsess over what the most incidental details may or may not mean.
Which is why refreshing Instagram has become a pursuit like trying to read tea leaves for some NBA obsessives with regard to a certain hot commodity.
Gordon Hayward is a star wing for the Utah Jazz — or he was a star wing for the Utah Jazz, but is a free agent this summer. Utah could re-sign him, but there are several other teams trying to lure Hayward away. Reports for months have pegged the Boston Celtics as the most serious of those suitors, delighting Boston fans and dismaying Utah fans in equal measure.
So when Hayward’s wife, Robyn, shared an otherwise innocuous and adorable photo on Instagram last weekend, it inadvertently became a big deal.
In the pic, the couple’s baby daughter was wearing a shirt with a shamrock graphic. A shamrock just happens to be one of the Boston Celtics’ logos. Robyn ended up deleting that photo after it prompted frenzied speculation, and even later posted a screenshot explaining she simply found the cute shirt on sale.
It seemed that perhaps Jazz fans could exhale. Until, that is, they checked Instagram again.
The screenshot above shows that Boston forward Al Horford just followed Hawyard on Instagram. This next screenshot shows that Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas just did the same.
What could it all mean? What could it all meeeeaaan?
For Utah and Boston fans, maybe something. Or maybe nothing.
But for the rest of us, it’s a clear sign the NBA’s silly season is officially underway.