BOSTON (CBS) — Gordon Hayward joined an unfortunate list on Tuesday night when he suffered a gruesome injury which nobody will soon forget.
Immediately, the injury conjured up memories of some other comparably catastrophic scenes from Sean Livingston, Paul George and Kevin Ware on basketball courts over the past decade. And considering the Celtics-Cavaliers opener was a marquee basketball event on the opening night of the NBA season, those guys were either or all watching or were aware of the injury as soon as it happened. They all felt Hayward’s pain.
All three shared tweets of support for Hayward after the injury.
Now a member of the Oklahome City Thunder, George fractured his leg during a Team USA scrimmage in the summer of 2014. He was able to return to NBA games eight months later in April. Since returning from the injury, he played in 162 of a possible 170 games for the Pacers. He was named an All-Star in both 2016 and 2017.
Livingston, 32, suffered what may be the most shocking injury NBA viewers have ever seen back in February 2007 — a play in which he dislocated his kneecap and tore multiple ligaments in his knee. Though Livingston missed the entire 2007-08 season, he recovered to have a successful career, playing in 554 career NBA games since the injury, including a current stint with the Warriors, where he’s won two NBA titles.
Ware, 24, suffered a fractured tibia while playing for the Louisville Cardinals in the Elite Eight on Easter Sunday in 2013, an injury which exposed his shin bone through the skin. Ware was back on the court eight months later in November, and he currently plays in Europe.
Though Stephen Curry was preparing for his own season opener out in Oakland, he shared his support for Hayward:
Curry was one of just many NBA players to express support:
Though Isaiah Thomas never really got to be teammates with Hayward, the former Celtics star played a major role in recruiting Hayward to Boston. Now a member of the Cavaliers, Thomas spent time with Hayward as he was being treated.
It wasn’t just fellow hoops players who showed their support, either. Former Texans linebacker Connor Barwin related all too well to Hayward’s injury, given how early in the season it happened. (You can click to see the tweet, because it includes a photograph that some might find frightening.)
Current Texans defensive lineman J.J. Watt, who’s currently out for the year after suffering a fractured tibia, immediately shared his sympathy.
Giants receiver Odell Beckham Jr., who suffered a fractured ankle two weeks ago, reacted to Watt’s tweet.
Hayward’s former teammate in Utah, who took a shot at Hayward over the summer after the decision to leave the Jazz, did not like what he saw on his television.
Considering Hayward spent the first seven years of his career with the Jazz, his former team also shared that the organization was thinking about him.
Hayward’s father also checked in on Twitter:
And Hayward’s wife provided an update on Instagram:
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I truly believe this! Thanks for all the prayers for Gordon and our family. It sucks, but this is what happens and you move on to the next step. Gordon is so tough and is the hardest worker, so I know he will come back stronger. He's wired differently. Gordons a true competitor and will take this and use it as fuel to be that much better. This is an obstacle that he's more than ready to over come. Keep praying for him though he needs some lovin! ❤️💪🏼🙏🏼
The overwhelming message from the professional sports world after the injury was that no matter how gruesome an injury may be, there is generally a road to recovery. It won’t be easy for the 27-year-old Hayward to work his way back to an NBA court, but he’ll clearly have plenty of support.