Gordon Hayward had a strong message on why the 2018-19 Boston Celtics failed to deliver on any of the potential the group had going into a season in which it was ultimately bounced from the second round of the playoffs in five games: there were "too many agendas" from everyone, and the main one was not a championship for anyone.
“We all had too many agendas,” Hayward told fellow NBA star Paul George on the “Podcast P” show (h/t NESN). “The agenda to win the whole thing was not the main one. Not to blame anyone, either. It’s all human nature.
"There was too many of us in the exact same position. We all needed the ball. We all rocked with the ball."
Boston Celtics' lack of a rebuild led to championship expectations too soon
Perhaps in hindsight, those 2018-19 Celtics shouldn't have had championship-or-bust expectations considering how truly not developed any of the team's young guns were coupled with a less-than-desirable juxtaposition of win-now stars trying to cash out in the offseason like Kyrie Irving and Marcus Morris. Even Al Horford was playing for money that season, though he can never be accused at any point in his career of being me-first.
Hayward himself was being integrated into the lineup despite signing as a free agent in 2017. A catastrophic injury was the obvious culprit there. An awkward relationship with his college head coach, Brad Stevens, seemingly resulted in a locker room fracture despite the former Butler star being banished to the second unit. Crazy in hindsight Jaylen Brown was too.
Keep in mind, though, that the Cs never going through a traditional rebuild -- missing the postseason only in Stevens' first season in Boston -- set the team up with championship expectations that were only inflated by Isaiah Thomas's MVP-caliber 2016-17 season and Brown and Jayson Tatum's (and Terry Rozier's) miraculous 2018 postseason run sans Kyrie Irving.