Gordon Hayward was projected to be one of the most significant players in the Eastern Conference playoff race after signing with the Boston Celtics over the offseason.
That promise never came to pass, as Hayward broke his leg on opening night against the Cleveland Cavaliers and will miss the entire season after undergoing surgery to repair the leg.
Following the injury, Lakers legend Kobe Bryant posted a motivation message for Hayward, who he’s worked out with in past offseasons, on Instagram, and apparently that’s not all he’s done to support the injured forward.
Hayward explained to Paul Pierce how Bryant has helped with his recovery on ESPN:
“Another person who has really lifted me up and that I’ve been in touch with is Kobe. He sent that Instagram post and he’s emailed me a couple times too and just talked about attacking each day, setting mini-goals and that’s my mindset, is ‘how can I get better with my ankle today? How can I be better than I was yesterday? I think if I slowly work at that I’ll be back before I know it,” Hayward said.
Bryant has experience with long recovery processes and season-ending injuries, so it makes sense that he’d have wisdom to pass along to Hayward as he begins his long road back to the court.
Hayward might be a Celtic, but catastrophic injuries like that are bigger than any basketball beef, so it’s cool to see Bryant passing along some of his copious wisdom about how hard work can help a player get back out on the court to one of the game’s current best players.
Basketball is better when its best players are healthy, and everyone (even Lakers fans) should be rooting for the Celtics forward to get healthy again and rejoin the greatest rivalry in sports.
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