Tuesday night the Boston Celtics traveled to Quicken Loans arena to face off against the Cleveland Cavaliers. With less than seven minutes left in the first quarter of the season opener, Gordan Hayward suffered a horrific injury.
After attempting to catch an alley-oop from Kyrie Irving, Hayward collided with LeBron James and Jae Crowder. The small forward landed on his leg, which folded under his body.
The instant Hayward hit the floor the six-foot-eight guard slid over and grabbed his leg. With six minutes and 40 seconds left in the first quarter, players from both teams were showing immense concern for their fellow NBA brother.
The medical staff would place an air cast on his foot to secure the fractured ankle. After the training staff and medical staff secured Hayward, he was carted off of the court where he was met by LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and others.
God bless you bro @gordonhayward ! 🙏🏾 help him thru this god!
— Paul George (@Yg_Trece) October 18, 2017
Fans gave Hayward a standing ovation as he was carted off to the locker room for further evaluation.
Hayward’s injury sucked the energy out of the Quicken Loans Arena and from both teams. After the devastating injury, Celtics center Al Harford was encouraging Irving to keep pushing, while Jaylen Brown was caught with his mouth open searching for words.
Celtics head coach Brad Stevens had to pull his troops together and encourage them to move on. Later you would see Irving huddling with Marcus Smart and Jayson Tatum.
Moments later the former Butler Bulldog would receive X-rays from both team staffs. The Celtics arranged for the former Jazz forward to be flown back to Boston.
Your team and fans are behind you, Gordon. Wishing you a speedy recovery. pic.twitter.com/jtypRhSnCX
— Boston Celtics (@celtics) October 18, 2017
During the post-game interview, Boston coach Brad Stevens explained to the reporters that Hayward had a dislocated tibia and a fractured left ankle.
Despite a heroic comeback, the Celtics would lose to 102-99.
The 27-year-old signed a four-year, $128 million contract with the Celtics during the summer. This is a horrific blow for the Celtics.
The franchise was expecting to implement a one-two punch with Irving and Hayward. The two would lead a team with young talent.
Despite this injury, it’s nice to know that the league supports one another. Throughout the coverage of the injury, other players sent well wishes, thoughts, and prayers for the small forward.
Cleveland head coach Tyron Lue tweeted his well wishes to Hayward.
Featured image taken by Gregory Shamus