Gordon Hayward says Isaiah Thomas was the first to wish him well after his injury – SB Nation

Gordon Hayward’s opening-night injury is one of the most memorable, heart-wrenching injuries in league history. Not only because of the severity of it, but who it happened to and when it happened.

And if it was that way for all of us, you can be certain that it was that times 10 for Hayward himself. He outlined as much in a piece he wrote to fans on Facebook documenting the scenario, his recovery and how his family is doing since it all went down.

Isaiah Thomas was one of the first people to talk to Hayward after his injury

After Hayward’s injury, you’d obviously expect there to be a swell of concern and support for him. But you’d expect one of the first people to be there for him to be on his own team. Instead, it was former Celtic Isaiah Thomas who was at Hayward’s side immediately after he was taken into the locker room.

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.

That’s a pretty neat thing. Thomas is well known as a stand-up guy, but it takes a lot of character to show support to a player you were supposed to play with. Thomas’ heart was broken after he was moved from Boston — he recruited Hayward himself. For him to show Hayward support is an awesome thing just because he didn’t have to.

Hayward didn’t know what happened when he landed

As many had stated after the injury happened, Hayward ran a backdoor play that routinely worked out for him in Utah. He went through it, set the play up, and ran it exactly as he was supposed to. But this time, when he came down he knew something was wrong.

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 just goes to show you that this can pretty much happen at any time and anywhere on the floor. All it took was one misstep, and a play Hayward has probably run hundreds of times throughout his career put him out for the season.

Hayward’s surgery was tense

Anytime you see an injury like this, you know there’s a major surgery coming with it. It was evident that Hayward probably wouldn’t be back for the season, but from what he says the injury could have had a far worse result. Hayward had broken bones and torn ligaments, but there was potential, according to Hayward’s doctors, for cartilage damage.

“As far as the plan for surgery, it had three parts. First was fixing the bone, which was the most straightforward and easy thing. Next was fixing the ligaments that I tore, and that was relatively straightforward, too. The third part was the unknown, and the only thing that concerned the medical staff.

There was a little blip on the scans that might show potential cartilage damage. If that was the case, it wouldn’t be good.”

So it seems that this was a close call for Hayward. We could have had a potentially career-threatening case. If there were ever a silver lining in this situation, it would be that.

It took four people to carry Hayward onto the plane and Brad Stevens was one of them

We always talk about Brad Stevens being one of the more brilliant basketball minds in the game today, but he’s also a great person. Hayward says it took four people to carry him onto the plane and Stevens was one of them.

“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.”

It’s always refreshing to hear about coaches seeing their players as people, but this is another level.

With his support system, Hayward will be just fine

Hayward’s injury was awful — there’s no denying that. But with the people he’s got surrounding him, he’ll have all the motivation and care he’ll need. His wife, Robyn, and his two daughters, Bernie, 2, and Charlie, 1, are holding him down.

His daughters were initially confused by the surgery and what happened to their dad’s leg, but they eventually made light of a situation that can get really dark.

“The girls both lit up when I got back from the hospital, but they were confused by what was on my foot. They were confused by the crutches, too. (Bernie is two; Charlie is one.) What they both loved was the scooter I got to ride around on. They thought it was the best thing ever. The scooter has a little basket on it, and Bernie is obsessed with things that have baskets. She has this little shopping cart, and she has this little stroller that she puts her little baby or her little stuffed doggy in. She wanted me to ride around with her doggy in my basket, which was pretty comical.”

These are the moments that Hayward will always remember from his recovery. The grueling rehab, strenuous surgery, and long timetables don’t matter as long as he has the support from his family that he needs.

Gordon Hayward says Isaiah Thomas was the first to wish him well after his injury – SB Nation

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *