The Boston Celtics and Cleveland Cavaliers opened the 2017-2018 NBA season with a highly anticipated match-up in front of a national audience. While the excitement for the new season was palpable, the buzz faded with haste upon sight of a gruesome injury to newly-acquired Celtics forward Gordon Hayward.
Less than six minutes into the contest, Hayward elevated for a lob on the offensive end of the floor and, upon his landing, fell awkwardly and suffered what was immediately visible as quite a serious injury.
It is far too early to speculate on specifics but Hayward’s ailment was apparent on sight and the game was stopped for a lengthy period of time. Here is a video of the injury, a warning that it is really hard to watch.
Immediately, the broadcast, led by play-by-play announcer Kevin Harlan painted the grim picture of the injury and a stretcher appeared for Hayward. It was so bad that a stretcher came out to usher him into the locker room.
In short, it was as if the energy was sucked out of the arena and the reaction was sweeping from both those on the scene and viewing at home.
While it’s impossible to focus on anything other than the injury and how Hayward will be impacted, ESPN’s Bobby Marks provided a (somewhat tactless) updated on how Boston can react to this, saying the team can use the “Disabled Player Exception” on Hayward before March 10, 2018.
After evaluation, the initial diagnosis for Hayward is a fractured ankle and, per the TNT broadcast, he will be transported from the arena to a medical facility.
The entire NBA world is certainly rallying around Hayward in the aftermath and we’ll keep you updated as more information comes in throughout the evening.