Isaiah Thomas, other NBA players react to gruesome Hayward injury
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:
Former @Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas was inside locker room where Hayward is, came out shaking his head, visibly saddened by what he saw.
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:
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: