Former NBA star Kobe Bryant shared a powerful message to Boston Celtics forward Gordon Hayward after he fractured his left ankle on an awkward landing while attempting to field an alley-oop during Wednesday night's home opener against the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The injury occurred with six minutes and 25 seconds left in the first quarter. Hayward was taken off the court on a stretcher. He was transported from the locker room to a hospital in Boston. He was set to undergo MRI and CT exams on Wednesday morning.
Bryant shared the following message on Instagram:
"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."
The Celtics signed Hayward to a four-year deal worth $128 million in July.