One night before his 10 a.m. press conference in Waltham, Celtics forward Gordon Hayward broke his silence by way of a blog posted on his website on Wednesday night.
It’s a lengthy blog, and understandably so given everything that Hayward has gone through in terms of his recovery and what still awaits him (Hayward is in a soft cast, but is still not bearing weight), but here are six of the biggest takeaways from the saga.
“Immediately, I knew something was off, but when I landed, it wasn’t a huge amount of pain. 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.”
This is easily the best explanation you’ll get in terms of what happened that night. You saw Hayward, clearly in shock, look towards the referee and ask for a timeout. That’s a pretty wild thing to do when your leg is pointing back towards Boston. Hayward also points out that he’s made this play a thousand times, and knew that both Jae Crowder and LeBron James were sandwiching him. This sorta rules out those conspiracy theories that insinuated that this was a dirty play by Crowder or James.
“But now, instead of competing in the game that had been talked about since the summer, I was in one of the training rooms at the Q, getting X-rays. 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.”
This is something that people on the scene in Cleveland reported as being the case when it first happened, and just one of the many reasons why Isaiah Thomas is never going to be somebody that’s truly hated by Celtics fans. Despite the bad blood between Thomas and the Celtics (mainly team president Danny Ainge), Thomas clearly cares about Hayward, which makes sense given their relationship as near-teammates. Remember: Thomas (along with teammate Al Horford) flew to Boston from his offseason home as part of the successful free agent pitch to Hayward last July.
Thomas… Still a good dude.
“Getting me onto the plane wasn’t easy. I was on a stretcher, and I had to get carried up two flights of stairs. They needed four people to carry me, and Coach Stevens was one of those four people. There were probably 25 other people there that all wanted to help, but he wanted to make sure he was one of the people to do it. I mean…that’s just the person he is.”
I don’t think there’s been a Celtic figure more involved in the early stages of Hayward’s recovery than head coach Brad Stevens. That makes total sense. After all, Stevens is considered the biggest reason why Hayward, who was recruited to and coached by Stevens during his collegiate career at Butler, chose to sign with Boston in the first place. Carrying Hayward’s stretcher up the stairs was just the start of Stevens’ help.
Stevens also went to the hospital with Hayward right from the moment the team plane touched back down in Boston, and made sure he was comfortable (as comfortable as he could be). Stevens was also back there in the morning, and did his best to be around Hayward, even though the C’s were on the second leg of a back-to-back.
Hayward has returned the favor by providing some scouting reports for the C’s in recent days, knowing how the Spurs run things, and understanding what the Bucks can do, which has certainly helped, evident in key wins by the Celtics.
“They prepped me and gave me the anesthesia. When I woke up, I was super groggy, and my foot was throbbing and heavy, with a huge wrap on it. It was five o’clock in the morning, and all I wanted to do was sleep, but I remember calling the nurse. When she walked in, I asked, “How did it go? What did they say? Can someone tell me what happened?” And she said, “The doctor will tell you in the morning, but from what I know, the surgery went well. You should try to get some sleep.”
A few hours later, the doctors came in. The surgery had been really successful. The cartilage from the scan wasn’t related to the injury, and wasn’t a concern. Everything had gone extremely well.”
The doctors were able to fix the bone, the ligaments, and the cartilage issues, which were considered a huge concern, were unrelated. This means that Hayward’s recovery, while lengthy, will likely go as smooth as possible, which is pretty incredible when you consider just how bad this all looked when it first happened.
The list of people that have reached out to him since the injury…
The Red Sox. Members of the Patriots. J.J. Watt. Odell Beckham Jr. and even President Barack Obama. These are just a few of the people that have reached out to Hayward.
Two players that also reached out to Hayward? Thunder two-way star Paul George and Laker great Kobe Bryant. This is important, too, as George went through a similarly gruesome injury and recovered just fine, while Bryant also went through a major injury and came back even stronger. Not every recovery is the same, obviously, but their stories can probably help Hayward out during the darker days of this process.
“Finally, the Celtics organization has been just over the top in every aspect. They know I will not be back on the court at all this season, but they have been making sure I have every resource I need, and are making me feel like I am a part of the team. The entire Celtics family is filled with so many incredibly caring people.”
This line sort of sneaks in there, but this is Hayward essentially confirming that he’s done for the season. This was obviously expected, as the Celtics basically ruled out putting an exact timetable on Hayward’s recovery, knowing that it would set expectations and open the door for criticism, but it surely rules out all those Fantasyland theories that suggest Hayward would return for the playoffs. Hayward later talks about how this will force some of the Celtics’ younger pieces — such as Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, you’d think — to grow up faster than originally imagined.
That will not be anything close to a bad thing when Hayward returns in 2018-19.
Full article @ 6 biggest takeaways from Gordon Hayward’s blog
Source: GreenStreet Blog