Gordon Hayward out for the season

DYLAN PADY, Sports Editor | [email protected]

The NBA’s opening night was action-packed with good games all around and did not disappoint. The Houston Rockets upset the Golden State Warriors by one point, and the Cleveland Cavaliers beat the Boston Celtics by three. Kevin Durant was less than a second away from an easy game-winning jump shot but just did not get it off in time. In Cleveland, Kyrie Irving had the opportunity to send the game into overtime but missed his last second, three-point attempt.

At the small forward position, 6’8” Gordon Hayward was excited to play his first season in Boston alongside players like Irving, Jayson Tatum and Marcus Smart. Not even six minutes into the first quarter, a devastating turn of events ended that dream as Hayward came down awkwardly and suffered a gruesome leg injury.

After the game, Boston’s Coach Brad Stevens announced that Hayward had dislocated his ankle and fractured his tibia. It was a clean break, and Hayward flew back with the team that night, immediately checking into England Baptist Hospital after landing in Boston.

Hayward signed a four-year, $128 million contract earlier this summer and later, the team picked up Irving after trading with the Cavaliers.

Hayward played for seven years in Utah. He was really beginning to heat up towards the end of his stay and had helped lead the Jazz to some postseason action. He ended a six-year drought in which the team was unable to win a single playoff game, as well as a four-year drought where the team was unable to even attend the playoffs.

Last season, Hayward averaged 21.9 points per game, 5.4 rebounds, 3.5 assists and essentially got one steal every game. By no means were these ‘unworldly’ stats, but he was really starting to find his rhythm and there was some real potential for Irving and Hayward.

During the “Inside the NBA” halftime break, Charles Barkley summed up the reality of being a professional basketball player, as well as the subtle risks they take for playing the game.  

“You know what’s amazing? He’s probably made that play a million times in his life,” Barkley said. “You jump every day of your life, and it’s just really unfortunate. I don’t know Gordon that well, but I feel for him.”

Hopefully, Hayward comes back ready to compete and won’t let this injury get the best of him.