Gordon Hayward broke his foot just six minutes into his debut in a Boston Celtics uniform. The cringe-worthy injury sent the whole NBA reeling. But Kobe Bryant has some choice words for the former Utah Jazz forward.
In an Instagram post, the former Los Angeles Lakers superstar said that it’s only natural for Hayward to be angry and frustrated after what seemed a major hurdle to a career on a rise. He said the 27-year-old may even wish to have that play back and how he would have done things differently.
“But reality gives nothing back and nor should you,” he wrote.
The next thing for Hayward after the injury is to undergo surgery. But first he must study everything about the procedure with laser-like focus in order to “visualize it in your subconscious” and boost the chance of success.
Bryant, of course, knows what he’s talking about after tearing his Achilles during a game against the Golden State Warriors in 2013. Everybody was writing his comeback off because nobody really came back the same after a career-ending injury like that.
But the 39-year-old did make a comeback, capped by a 60-point performance in his farewell game in April 2016. Interestingly enough, the Lakers were matched up against the Utah Jazz on that day.
Bryant said that Hayward should just focus on the day-to-day milestones as he recovers from the injury. In fact, if the 6-7 forward will have the right mindset, he would be able to find “beauty in the struggle of doing simple things.”
With the right perspective, Hayward will return after that injury a better player, said Bryant who concluded the post with the hashtag “mambamentality.”
Meanwhile, Hayward gave a video message to Celtics fans while on a hospital bed. He thanked everybody for their support and prayers. He also assured that he’s going to be all right. “It’s hurting me that I can’t be there for the home opener.”