Gordon Hayward won’t play basketball this year.
In his first comments since suffering a gruesome broken ankle on opening night, Hayward wrote a lengthy post on his personal Facebook page that details what went through his mind at the moment of injury (it didn’t hurt at first, then became borderline unbearable), how he made it home to Boston (head coach Brad Stevens helped carry him onto the team plane), and some surprising names who reached out to offer encouragement — including former president Barack Obama.
From a basketball perspective, the biggest revelation was Hayward saying he won’t play until next season.
“The Celtics organization has been just over the top in every aspect,” Hayward wrote. “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 caring people.”
One of those people is head coach Brad Stevens. Hayward describes being carried onto the team plane on a stretcher by four people, and Stevens insisted on being one of them.
“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,” Hayward wrote. “I mean…that’s just the person he is.”
Hayward wrote that he not only broke his ankle, but also suffered torn ligaments. Doctors were initially concerned about potential cartilage damage, which would’ve jeopardized his recovery. But surgery went as well as doctors could’ve hoped, and Hayward is expected to make a full recovery.
Hayward said he heard from a number of athletes across the professional spectrum, including NFL stars Odell Beckham Jr. and J.J. Watt, who had suffered season-ending injuries of their own.
“For them to reach out after what happened to them is pretty cool,” Hayward wrote. “Paul George contacted me immediately after I got hurt. He was somebody that I was texting back and forth with. I was there with him back when he suffered a similar injury. He knows better than anyone, maybe, exactly what it is I’m going through, and will be going through. I’m thankful that he reached out right away, and that’s he’s someone I can continue to talk to.
“Kobe Bryant posted a message of support on Instagram, and then sent me an email. Kobe is somebody that I have leaned on and he has been in my corner since I’ve worked out with him. I can’t say enough about what it means to have his support, somebody who’s one of the all-time greats, and has basically been through it all. He didn’t have the same, exact thing happen, but he had a devastating injury that he had to recover from. That email meant a lot.”
And Hayward also heard from Obama, who’s well-known as a big basketball fan.
“That was a pretty big deal,” Hayward wrote.
Hayward knows the coming months will be difficult. He wrote that he initially didn’t want to watch the Celtics play, because not being out there with his teammates hurt too much. Now, he’s determined to help in whatever way he can, whether it’s breaking down film or offering guidance.
“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,” he wrote. “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. 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.”
Full article @ Gordon Hayward blogs that he won’t play this year, says he received e-mail from Barack Obama
Source: GreenStreet Blog