- The Celtics lost one of their stars in Cleveland. Gordon Hayward went for a rebound and landed awkwardly on his ankle.
CLEVELAND — Opening night in the NBA started off with a lot of excitement. Kyrie Irving returned to Cleveland for his only trip to Quicken Loans Arena this season in a Celtics jersey against LeBron James and the Cavs, and fans greeted the All-Star point guard with a shattering of boos.
Both teams got off to slow starts, but the pace and level of play started to pick up as the first quarter was coming to an end.
However, the mood changed quickly when Celtics star swingman Gordon Hayward tried to snag down a long rebound and injured his ankle gruesomely, immediately sending the crowd into silence.
Hayward had to be carted off the court with his lower leg and foot covered.
“From what I was told, it’s a dislocated ankle and a fractured tibia,” Celtics head coach Brad Stevens told reporters after the game.
Fans reacted by looking away from the jumbotron and groaning when they saw Hayward’s foot looking as if it was dangling from his leg.
Players from both benches gasped and starred in disbelief. The entire league immediately took to social media and gave Hayward their thoughts and prayers.
God bless you bro @gordonhayward ! 🙏🏾 help him thru this god!
— Paul George (@Yg_Trece) October 18, 2017
Hate to see @gordonhayward go down like that. I know he will be back stronger and wish him the best recovery possible.
— Rudy Gobert (@rudygobert27) October 18, 2017
Celtics big man Al Horford mentioned when things like this happen, everyone needs to come together as a group and rally around each other.
“I think that everyone understands it’s more than basketball,” Horford said to reporters after the game. “Guys we get to know everyone in the league and we never want to see anyone gets hurt. It shows a brotherhood.”
Supporting Gordan Hayward:
Cavs superstar LeBron James, guard Dwyane Wade and injured point guard Isaiah Thomas reportedly went to the locker room where Hayward was being tended to and offered their support, per ESPN.
Derrick Rose, who understands what’s it’s like to be injured, avoided looking at Hayward’s injury.
Rose was a part of the USA showcase game in Las Vegas back in 2014 when Paul George had a similar incident. The Chicago native mentioned that seeing George in that state bothered him as he played, mentally more than anything.
Now the Celtics are without their second biggest offseason addition and their future moving forward is unknown. At one point, besides Cleveland and Washington, Boston was looked at as one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference. However, without Hayward, it’s unclear how successful this team will be.
Besides Cleveland and Washington, Boston was looked at as one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference. However, without Hayward, it’s unclear how successful this team will be now.