NBA OPENER SUFFERS A FLOP
GORDON HAYWARD’S SEASON ENDS WHEN THE NBA SEASON BEGINS
This past summer was abundant in team shake-ups with moves like Paul George and Carmelo Anthony moving to the Oklahoma City Thunder, the Celtics signing Gordon Hayward and the Cavs signing the likes of Derrick Rose and Dwayne Wade. The season opener between the Boston Celtics and the Cleveland Cavaliers was supposed to be the culmination of possibly the biggest shock of the summer: Kyrie Irving returning to Cleveland after being traded last-minute to Boston and facing Jae Crowder and Isiah Thomas (the players Boston traded for Kyrie Irving in the first place).
Barely six minutes into the start of the first quarter, Hayward went to accept a pass in the paint when he fell awkwardly onto his left leg. Falling is a common thing in the NBA (flopping is another story) but it was the way Hayward landed that made the season-changing difference. All of his weight landed on his left ankle without any extra support. Five seconds after the play, the commentary team clearly stated that Hayward’s leg was broken.
After being stretchered off the court an initial examination confirmed that Hayward had fractured his left tibia as well as dislocated his left ankle. The injury was clearly obvious as his ankle was rotated 90 degrees. Ankles should not be perpendicular to the leg. Players and fans alike were shocked and disgusted at how deformed Hayward’s leg looked.
Cavs and Celtics players rushed to Hayward’s side along with coaches and EMT’s. The Celtics bench huddled in a moment of silence to comfort each other. Dwayne Wade was seen kneeling in prayer for Hayward’s health. Despite the supposed animosity between LeBron and Kyrie over the latter’s trade, nobody could tell as LeBron was seen comforting Kyrie after Hayward was gone. Isiah Thomas and Jae Crowder were also incredibly concerned as Thomas had recruited Hayward to Boston before being traded and Crowder was looking forward to playing with Hayward as well.
Despite Hayward’s injury, the Celtics actually rallied in the third quarter after trailing by 16 points. The final score was actually 99 (Boston) to 102 (Cleveland). The 27 year-old Hayward was a free agent after becoming an All-Star for the Utah Jazz last season. He was recruited by Thomas to solidify an already strong team before Kyrie Irving’s trade had moved several key pieces around (including Thomas).
Hayward was flown back into Boston that same night to have corrective surgery the next day. He will also need MRI and CT scans, however his season is over.
You can watch his fall here: (Graphic)