Gordon Hayward on acquiring an esports franchise: 'I'm itching to get in the game'

by theScore Staff May 20 2016
Thumbnail image courtesy of Streeter Lecka / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Utah Jazz Forward Gordon Hayward told IGN eSports Today's host Kevin Knocke that he plans on buying an esports team.

"I am actively looking to get involved and have explored multiple opportunities that have presented themselves. I haven't found the right moment just yet," he said. "But I'm itching to get in the game and get involved. I think there's a lot of potential and I think that's what everyone sees."

He told Knocke that the fast-paced nature of esports is what draws professional athletes like himself and why esports is gaining in popularity.

When it came to the topic of a players' association in esports, Hayward stressed the importance of an association in the NBA. He said that if there are parties involved in governing and regulating a sport, "you gotta have someone fight for the players too."

"There will be a players' union [in esports] eventually," he said.

Hayward said that the pedigree of Echo Fox's owner Rick Fox as a former professional athlete helps to give Echo Fox's franchise a sense of authenticity and that his knowledge of how NBA teams are run is also beneficial.

"My vision would be to run the franchise in a similar way, just like a sports team. And you treat the players really well if you want them to perform," Hayward said. "They have to perform or you cut and get somebody else. [Fox is] no stranger to that environment and for sure that helps him out."

Will Alcopra is a news editor for theScore esports. You can follow him on Twitter.