SALT LAKE CITY -- She said yes.
He said no ... to the media.
Jazz guard Gordon Hayward made news Wednesday when he used his Twitter account to announce his engagement to girlfriend Robyn Van Vliet. Hayward, 23, linked to a photo posted on his Instagram account with the message: "Merry Christmas to everyone out there! Hope it's a good one! Mine was especially good bc SHE SAID YES!!!! So thrilled I get to marry my best friend and such an amazing person @robynvanvliet! I love you!!!"
When asked about the news prior to Thursday's practice session, Hayward happily acknowledged the engagement but offered no further details.
"(Christmas day) was a little different than normal," he said. "(I am) really excited but I just want to keep that a little private."
Hayward and the Jazz (8-23) will play host to the Los Angeles Lakers (13-16) tonight at EnergySolutions Arena.
Utah went 2-3 on its recent pre-Christmas road trip with wins at Orlando and Charlotte and losses at Miami, Atlanta and Memphis.
Following their Dec. 23 loss to the Grizzlies, many Jazz players left to spend the holiday with their families. Hayward used the days off to pop the question while others used them to simply get away from basketball, if only briefly.
"We play so many games in such a short amount of time, the guys have been great at trying to stay focused," coach Tyrone Corbin said. "We were short-handed earlier (in the season and players were) just trying to keep their bodies ready to play. We've got a few more bodies trying to find a rhythm with the guys we have. It was a good time to have a little break (and spend) the holiday season with their families."
By the time tonight's game tips off the Jazz will have had three days off, a rarity during the 82-game NBA schedule.
Last time they had that many days off was shortly after Thanksgiving and the mini vacation ended with a home loss to the Phoenix Suns.
Corbin said the Jazz are a different team than they were a month ago.
"I think we're better," he said. "I think we have a better idea of who we are and how we have to play to be effective. It's a little bit more time that this group has been together."
That Nov. 29 loss to Phoenix dropped Utah's record to 2-15 on the season. Since then the Jazz have gone 6-8 thanks in part to the play of rookie point guard Trey Burke, who missed the first 12 games of the season with a broken finger.
Burke's play has provided a spark that wasn't there early in the season and the young Jazz have responded, though they continue to learn critical lessons.
Their recent road trip as a bit of a roller coaster ride with blowout losses followed by hard-fought wins followed by blowout losses.
"One of the things (learned from) playing on the road (is) the intensity that you have to have every night," Corbin said. "The success you have one night doesn't necessarily mean the same thing's going to work the next night."
Corbin used the example of Utah's Dec. 18 win at Orlando in which Burke scored 30 points and Hayward added 15. Two days later they thumped in Atlanta, 118-85, as Burke and Hayward combined to shoot just 5-for-22.
Now in his fourth NBA season, Hayward isn't exactly an erstwhile veteran but he understands the important of consistency on the court.
"You can't teach experience," he said. "Experiences are always good, especially with us being so young and playing against some of the best competition like we did on that road trip."
Hayward smiled as he recalled his experience as a rookie on the 2010 pre-Christmas trip.
"I remember it was a long time to be on the road, especially during the holidays," he said. "I specifically remember not doing Christmas shopping (before hand) and having to do it on the road because I forgot I wasn't going to be home until right around Christmas."
Although he wasn't about to share the details of his love life, it seems Hayward did manage to get some jewelry shopping in this year.
Contact reporter Jim Burton at 801-625-4265, or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @StandardExJimbo.