Celtics' Gordon Hayward plans to leave NBA bubble for child's birth: 'It's a pretty easy decision'

Boston Celtics forward Gordon Hayward and his wife, Robyn, are expecting their fourth child this fall. If the Celtics are still in contention when Robyn goes into labor, Hayward already knows without a doubt he will leave the NBA bubble to be there.

Hayward will leave bubble

Hayward told reporters on Friday, via ESPN:

“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. We'll have to cross that bridge when we get there."

"It's a pretty easy decision for me on that," Hayward said. "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."

The Haywards have three young daughters and Robyn is due with their fourth child in September, when the conference semifinals and finals are scheduled to be played. The conference semifinals are scheduled to begin no later than Aug. 30, with the East finals scheduled to begin no later than Sept. 15.

The Celtics (43-21) are currently third in the Eastern Conference standings behind the Milwaukee Bucks (53-12) and Toronto Raptors (46-18).

NBA protocols for leaving bubble

Gordon Hayward #20 of the Boston Celtics plays with his daughter Bernie during warmups prior to the start of the game against the Philadelphia 76ers at TD Garden on February 1, 2020 in Boston, Massachusetts. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Kathryn Riley/Getty Images)
Gordon Hayward has been at all three of his children's births and said he won't miss this one, either. (Photo by Kathryn Riley/Getty Images)

The NBA season will restart at Disney World later this month in a bubble that’s designed to keep COVID-19 out. But there are protocols in place for players to leave on an approved basis. They include a child’s birth and the death of a family member, among other things.

The quarantine stint for a player with approved leave is four days, as long as that player is gone for fewer than seven days and tests negative for COVID-19 each day he is not in the bubble. Any unapproved absence means a quarantine period of 10 days.

NBA, MLB players face difficult decisions

Professional athletes in every sport that is attempting to come back this month are making similarly difficult decisions. Utah Jazz star Mike Conley’s wife, Mary, is due to give birth Aug. 27. Conley said he’s heading to Florida, but it was a tough decision. Via the Salt Lake Tribune:

“Yeah, it was tough. I’m gonna be in a bubble, but yet if I leave to go see my baby born, I’m gonna be quarantined on the way back in, and possibly have to miss a game or whatever the situation is that we’ll currently be in. There’s just a lot of things that go into play.”

A handful of MLB stars have partners expecting children this summer as well, including Los Angeles Angels center fielder Mike Trout. Trout told reporters on Friday he still doesn’t feel that comfortable returning and is being incredibly cautious at practices to avoid infecting his wife with COVID-19. He’s still unsure if he’ll play in the MLB season, which is not going to be in a bubble, and he wore a mask while running the bases Friday.

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