As Gordon Hayward recollects, he ran the play numerous occasions. But throughout the opening minutes of the 2017 NBA season, his yr got here to a heartbreaking halt after the Celtics ahead fell awkwardly to the courtroom, breaking his ankle gruesomely within the course of.
“From what I remember, I’d set up Jae Crowder so I could go back door, and had a step on him when Kyrie [Irving] threw up the pbad,” Hayward recounted Wednesday within the weblog put up, “In An Instant.”
“I went up to try and go get it, and right at that moment, LeBron James came over from the other side. So I had one guy behind me, one guy in front of me, and we all were trying to get the ball up top.”
Though Hayward, 27, had been thrown off stability a number of occasions in his profession, his leg bought caught beneath him on Oct. 17, with hundreds inside Cleveland’s Quicken Loans Arena surprised because the 6-foot-Eight ahead lay on the bottom.
“Immediately, I knew something was off, but when I landed, it wasn’t a huge amount of pain,” Hayward described. “I rolled over and saw my foot, and it was pointed in completely the wrong direction. My first thought was, ‘Oh. This isn’t good. There’s something very wrong here.’ I felt a sense of panic come over me and signaled to the ref, ‘Hey, look at this. You’ve got to stop the game.’ And still, it didn’t seem like it was hurting that much.”
Once Hayward’s mind registered what had occurred, the ache started to seep in.
“The training staff came running over to me super fast, but however long it was — three seconds, five seconds — I just remember sitting there, looking at my foot the wrong way, and it felt like an eternity,” Hayward mentioned. “Dr. Rosneck, the Cavaliers doctor, braced me as he explained that they wanted to try and pop my ankle back into place. I held on, and the moment they did it, there was just a mbadive shot of pain, probably the most pain I’ve ever felt in my life.”
While getting X-rays in one of many coaching room, Hayward recalled Cavaliers level guard and former Celtic Isaiah Thomas awaiting his arrival.
“The first person who talked to me back there was Isaiah Thomas. He was already back there in a training room. I can’t remember exactly what he said, but I know he said a prayer for me, like right next to me. He was just there for me. I’ve learned in a short time what a special guy Isaiah is,” Hayward mentioned of Thomas, who helped recruit Hayward in free company earlier than being traded himself within the Irving deal.
Currently recovering, Hayward is grateful to his household, together with spouse Robyn and their two daughters, in addition to the complete NBA group for his or her unyielding help.
“I keep imagining what it’s going to be like to step onto the floor at the Garden, and make my regular season debut as a Celtic. It’s going to be a little delayed. But with each day of my rehab, I’ll be that much closer to making it happen,” Hayward mentioned. “I’m already dreaming about sharing that moment with everyone here in Boston — a city that I’m still getting to know, but that I’ve connected with through all of this in ways beyond anything I could have imagined.”