A couple of NBA legends - one old school and one more modern-day - were among the luminaries wishing Gordon Hayward well after his gruesome ankle injury in the Celtics' season opener in Cleveland on Tuesday night.
Celtics legend Bill Russell tweeted his best wishes to Hayward on Twitter and future Hall of Famer Kobe Bryant posted a message to him 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.
Hayward went down about five minutes into his first regular-season game with the C's and is awaiting surgery for an ankle dislocation and fracture at New England Baptist Hospital.
New Celtics teammate Kyrie Irving and the player Irving was traded for, Isaiah Thomas, also posted Wednesday in the aftermath of the injury.
Woke up this morning praying hard for my guy @gordonhayward ... Minor setback for a MAJOR comeback my brotha, all love from me! 🙏🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾— Isaiah Thomas (@isaiahthomas) October 18, 2017
Bill Russell has made it clear where he stands on the topic of recent protests against social inequality.
The Celtics great posted a photo himself taking a knee, as players did throughout the NFL in response to Donald Trump calling protesting players "sons of bitches." Russell was wearing the Presidential Medal of Freedom, which he received from Barack Obama in 2011, in the photo.
Trump said in a speech in Alabama Friday that he would like to see players who kneel during the National Anthem be fired. That led to a major uptick in players kneeling or standing with arms linked prior to games. Cowboys owner Jerry Jones also took a knee prior to Monday night's game.