Boston Celtics small forward Gordon Hayward said he will not leave the NBA bubble for the birth of his fourth child.
The 30-year-old recently returned to the closed-off basketball environment at the Disney-owned ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex near Orlando, Florida, after recovering off-site from an ankle injury.
The Indiana-native returned to Indianapolis during a monthlong break to receive treatment for the injury. He spent time with his wife and three daughters during the break.
Saturday’s game against the Miami Heat was his first game since his Aug. 17 injury.
In a postgame interview, Hayward said he and his wife decided he would not return home for the birth of their child, which is expected any day now.
“Robyn could be having a baby at any point in time so I think it’s probably something that I’ll be here and, by the time I get back, I might miss the birth if she just goes in and rushes into the hospital. So we discussed it, we prayed about it, and I think it’s probably best if I stay here and help our team.”
In July, Hayward said he planned to be there for the birth.
“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 at the time. “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," he added.
If Hayward were to leave, he would have to quarantine for four days upon returning to the bubble and could be out for up to a week.
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