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The NBA is a brotherhood. Players may be fiercely competing with one another on a nightly basis, but when it comes to someone's well-being, everyone is on the same team. We saw the NBA community come together following Gordon Hayward's graphic leg and ankle injury.

The image above, showing Wade on one knee and a hand on his head while Hayward is grimacing in the background, is very telling of how everyone was feeling during that moment. Of course, the players most affected by this incident were the ones who were right there on the court and benches. The players' reactions really tell it all:





One of the players to reach out to Hayward was his short-lived teammate in Boston, Isaiah Thomas. While IT couldn't play in the season opener on Tuesday night, he was in still present in the arena and quickly made his way to the Cavs' locker room, where Hayward was being treated:



Isaiah later tweeted his prayers for the star forward:



Isaiah had a large hand in convincing Hayward to sign with Boston. That relationship - which quickly came to an end on the court - lasted outside of the game. Let's recall what Hayward said about Thomas in his blog:

"[The trade of Thomas to Cleveland] was a really strange moment because I'd really been looking forward to playing with him. He didn't just help recruit me to Boston--he was a big piece of that recruitment. He had talked a lot about city and how it was different to be a Celtic. He talked about the intensity of playing in the Eastern Conference Finals, playing at the Garden in the playoffs, and how much fun it was, and how much fun he had playing in Boston.

"All of that ultimately helped win me over. And by the time of the trade, I had already started to build a little bit of a relationship with him."

In addition to Thomas, other Cavs players showed great sportsmanship by checking in on Hayward at halftime. You may have seen LeBron James share some words with the injured forward before he was carted off:



LeBron, along with Dwyane Wade and Kevin Love, met with Hayward in the locker room during the intermission:



The support wasn't just shown in Quicken Loans Arena, though. Thanks to Twitter, the whole NBA world reached out to Hayward, offering thoughts and prayers. One of the first to do this was Paul George who, if you recall, had a gruesome leg injury of his own in 2014:



Kobe Bryant posted a long, inspiring message on his Instagram to assure Hayward that he will come back better than ever:

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.
A post shared by Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant) on


Here are the rest of the reactions from around the league, including former teammates:







Even the salty Rudy Gobert put their differences aside and wished Hayward a speedy recovery.



Fellow All-Star members:









And much, much more:







You get the idea. NBA players from all over the country jumped online to support Hayward during this awful time. Here's to a quick recovery and coming back stronger than ever, Gordon!


Follow Erik Johnson on Twitter: @erikjohnson32

Photo via NBA.com

Erik Johnson 10/18/2017 12:52:00 PM Edit
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