On opening night on Tuesday, Celtics forward Gordon Hayward suffered a catastrophic injury that rocked the NBA world just minutes into his debut with the Boston Celtics.
The response across the league was instantaneous and overwhelmingly positive as players across the league, Lakers included, offered support for Hayward.
One of the strongest responses across the league, though, came from Kobe Bryant on Instagram on Wednesday morning.
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.
Bryant and Hayward have a history together as the two worked out together two summers ago. Even more, Bryant has his history with season-ending injuries, including the torn Achilles that started the downturn of his career.
Seeing the NBA community band together around a player and a situation like that of Hayward’s is great to see. The response was instantaneous and spoke volumes not only how much respect a player like Hayward has earned, but how much of a brotherhood the league is.