The season was lost before it began for Gordon Hayward in a Boston Celtics uniform, but his story of resilience became the face of the team.
In a season that was presumed over just five minutes into the season turned into a season that Boston Celtics fans will never forget.
One of the things that made the 2017-18 team special was the way they were able to overcome injuries, primarily the one suffered by Gordon Hayward.
From the very moment the prize free-agent star went down with a gruesome lower leg injury, the excitement and anticipation that surrounded the Celtics evaporated as quickly as it was inflated when Hayward wrote he was coming to Boston in The Player’s Tribune.
Suddenly, the fireworks fans were promised dissipated in a heap of smoke…and tears.
The pained look on the face of Gordon Hayward as well as the horrified look on the players on that Quicken Loans Arena court that night will forever be memorable.
It was over….so we thought.
But, a team down a star found a way to galvanize themselves to make it just a few minutes and a lot of missed shots away from the NBA Finals.
New stars emerged and a coach named Brad Stevens took another leap towards the top of the NBA coaching mountain. With that, the silver lining is that Gordon Hayward will be added to this team.
Through months of rebab, Hayward underwent a minor surgery this week to remove hardware from a healed bone in his tibia.
According to Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge, the procedure will not limit Hayward’s ability to return healthy for next season. Along with the return of a healthy Kyrie Irving, there is a lot to be excited about next season mostly because of what this team went through and built this past season.