Gordon Hayward's injury puts what's important in sport in perspective
Opinion by Tim Shirer
I was writing a completely different piece tonight until the 6:45 mark of the first period of the opening game of the 2017 NBA season between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Boston Celtics. The 6:45 mark of the first period was when I realized my commentary would no longer be relevant due to an injury on the court to Celtics forward Gordon Hayward. The injury was gruesome and bothered some of the most seasoned sports writers I know who were in attendance.
This made me think a minute. It made me think how people around the United States will be talking about Hayward’s injury and it was very gruesome and I feel bad for Hayward. I have never interviewed him or met him but he seems like a pretty stand-up guy. When I saw the replay I instantly flashed back to 1985 and Joe Thiesman’s leg injury against the New York Giants on Monday Night football. The crowd at The Q went silent. The crowd was silent due to an injury to a player on a team that the fans in attendance had venom in their hearts for. But the injury changed that at least for a fleeting period.
The injury reminds you how life can in an instant. It makes you realize that writing a negative article about Kyrie Irving isn’t really that important. Irving isn’t a fan favorite in Cleveland and we know that. But what we also know is that the fragile state of a person’s health is much more important than a guy who decided he didn’t want to play for a certain team or in a certain city anymore.
Hayward knows this now. Hayward who signed this off-season as a free agent with the Celtics after starting his career with the Utah Jazz and playing his first seven seasons there. In 2017 Hayward was named an all-star for the first time. Signing with the Celtics during the off-season reunited Hayward with his college coach Brad Stevens. Hayward played for Stevens at Butler University for two seasons. Including Butler’s dream season of 2010 when as huge underdog’s they ran through the NCA tournament before losing in the National Championship game.
The run to the title was legendary as Butler defied all odds nearly achieving what most thought was impossible. The signing and reuniting of coach and star player looked like Boston might share in some of that magic that Butler experienced in 2010. The injury that took place on the court with 6:45 left in the first quarter showed everyone in attendance and watching on tv as well as the loyal Celtics fan base that nothing is ever for sure in life.
At this point only, the medical experts know how serious the ankle fracture that Hayward suffered is. Hopefully it isn’t as severe as it looks, but that’s doubtful. Hayward probably has a long rehab road ahead of him and I think as sports fans, no matter what team we root for we have wish him luck. No athlete deserves injuries, ever. So, I know I will be looking forward to the night Hayward returns to the NBA floor and does what he loves and does so well.
POSTED 10/17/2017 22:28