Gordon Hayward probably knew his season was in jeopardy following the gruesome injury he suffered just minutes into his Boston Celtics debut on Tuesday night. His entire career may have flashed before his eyes as well.
Former Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant knows the feeling. He has gone through the emotions. It was four years ago when the future Hall of Famer ruptured his Achilles tendon, revealing that the Black Mamba was a basketball mortal after all.
It's likely why Bryant has since reached out to Hayward, sending a detailed message of encouragement toward the Celtics forward on Instagram for everyone to see.
Be sad. Be mad. Be frustrated. Scream. Cry. Sulk. When you wake up you will think it was just a nightmare only to realize it's all too real. You will be angry and wish for the day back, the game back THAT play back. But reality gives nothing back and nor should you. Time to move on and focus on doing everything in your power to prepare for surgery, ask all the questions to be sure you understand fully the procedure so that you may visualize it in your subconscious while being operated on and better the chance of it's success. Then focus on the recovery process day by day by day. It's a long journey but if you focus on the mini milestones along the way you will find beauty in the struggle of doing simple things that prior to this injury were taken for granted. This will also mean that when you return you will have a new perspective. You will be so appreciative of being able to stand, walk, run that you will train harder than you ever have. You see the belief within you grow with each mini milestone and you will come back a better player for it. Best of luck to you on this journey my brother #mambamentality always.
Bryant discusses motivation and perseverance -- some of the qualities that made him such a successful basketball player -- before wishing Hayward the "best of luck" in his recovery.
Hayward, 27, will reportedly undergo an MRI and CT scan on Wednesday to determine next steps regarding a possible surgery. He signed a four-year, $128 million contract with the Celtics this past summer.
-- Nick Ostiller