Celtics

Hayes relates to Wilcox's situation

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Hayes relates to Wilcox's situation

SACRAMENTO, Calif. News travels pretty fast in the NBA, such as Boston Celtics forward Chris Wilcox being out for the year.

But Sacramento Kings forward Chuck Hayes didn't know why, until Friday.

That it is when a reporter informed him that Wilcox was out for the year due to a heart-related issue that would require surgery.

"It's heart-related?" a visibly shaken Hayes said. "Wow!"

The uncertainty that Wilcox is experiencing now about his future with the Celtics, with basketball, with life Hayes knows all too well what Wilcox is experiencing now emotionally.

Hayes had a four-year deal worth 21.3 million with the Sacramento Kings voided after a heart abnormality came up in his physical.

However, additional tests cleared him to play and he later signed another four-year deal with the Kings worth slightly more (22.4 million).

Wilcox was not as fortunate, with additional tests indicating surgery, which will be performed on March 29, was needed to repair his heart condition.

"It's tough," Hayes told CSNNE.com. "It puts things in a different light, as far as your life. A situation like that, it really puts it all in perspective. Anything internal, that's scary."

So was the grueling regimen of tests that Hayes recalls as the "worst 11 hours of my life."

Like Wilcox and another Celtics player who is out this year due to a heart-related condition, Jeff Green, Hayes spent some time at the Mayo Clinic in Cleveland.

"You got blood work, IV, treadmill, EKG, Echos, the whole nine," Hayes recalled.

As draining as it was mentally and physically, not knowing exactly what was going on with his body was even worst.

"It's worth it, all the tests, because they let you know where you stand with your body and your health," Hayes said. "But it is really tough on your mind and body, going through all those tests in one day."

While the surgery will keep Wilcox sidelined for the rest of this season, doctors have indicated he should make a full recovery and be able to resume playing next season.

"Staying positive is really important," Hayes said.

Hayes recalls getting words of encouragement via texts from a number of players such as Juwan Howard, Ronnie Turiaf (who also had heart surgery) and LaMarcus Aldridge, to name a few.

"Hearing from others really helps," Hayes said. "It's really bad to hear that he's going through something like this. My thoughts and prayers go out to him and his family, and I pray that he'll be back on the court real soon."

BOSTON SPORTS TONIGHT PODCAST: Celtics drop back-to-back games

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BOSTON SPORTS TONIGHT PODCAST: Celtics drop back-to-back games

0:41 - Michael Holley, Tom Giles, and Kayce Smith give their thoughts on Kyrie Irving’s struggles, not having Gordon Hayward, and the Celtics losing for the 2nd time in as many nights.

6:31 - A. Sherrod Blakely joins BST to discuss the message delivered by Hayward to the fans before the game, what was going on with Kyrie’s shot, and why they failed in stopping The Greek Freak.

10:33 - Albert Breer joins BST to preview the Falcons/Patriots Sunday night game and if Atlanta is in the middle of a Super Bowl hangover.

15:40 - In a new game called On The Clock, each person gets 40 seconds to rant on their selected subject including if Red Sox fans can root for the Yankees if the playoffs and how painful the Bruins season will be. 

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE

Celtics 'don’t have time for square one' moving on without Hayward

Celtics 'don’t have time for square one' moving on without Hayward

BOSTON – When Kyrie Irving asked Cleveland to trade him this summer, he did so in part to be more of a navigator when it comes to charting out the rest of his basketball career.

But he knows for him to achieve the kind of individual and team success that he wants, he can’t do it alone.

And that maybe more than anything else, is why Irving has struggled in these first two games as far as shooting the ball.

In Boston’s first two games – both losses – Irving has averaged 19.5 points, 4.0 assists and 6.5 rebounds. Those are decent numbers but pale in comparison to what the 25-year-old has been able to do most of his NBA career.

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And while the team is committed to moving on and focus on winning the next game, there’s no getting around the emotional tug they all feel towards Hayward.

“You can throw as many emotions in there as you want, man,” Irving said. “We know how much G (Gordon Hayward) meant to this team and means to this team. Without him on the floor creating those opportunities we were going over in practice, and we saw in preseason and in the first game, that’s a big void to fill. When you think of it in that aspect, of course you want to be frustrated and disappointed. I’m pretty sure that’s not what G wants. So, for us, you just have to continue to exude confidence in the young guys and be ready to step up to the plate. It’s going to be even higher expectations on our guys in this locker room now to try and fill that hole that G (Hayward) left for us. As one of the leaders on this team, it’s my job to pick us up, as well as with Brad and the team with all the guys. We have to look each other in the eyes and know what to expect every single night.”

That’s a lot easier said than done, especially when you consider how quickly things changed for the Celtics at least in the short term with Hayward’s energy.

“I just … as you can see its’ not an ideal situation,” Irving said. “So, as cliché as it is, everybody is probably going to say that’s life. But it is, man. [expletive] happens. Excuse my language. But it does, man. The individual that we have in Gordon, he’s very special. He’s going to fight like hell to get back on the floor. I know he’s already … there’s a fire burning inside of him. You see the amount of support he got. That should tell you the type of person he is. Not only to the Boston Celtics but to the rest of the league. We want him to get back healthy but we all understand that his health comes first. He’s going to do everything possible to get back on the floor and it’s our job to lift him up.”

Irving was asked whether the team would need to go back to Square One due to Hayward’s injury which will keep him out indefinite at this point.

“No. We don’t have time for square one,” Irving said. “I can tell you that right now. We don’t have time to go back to square one. It’s time to just figure it out, moment to moment, and we’ll be alright. I’ve had the unique opportunity to be in some situations that test your character and this is one of those times.”

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE