To Celtics Fans…




Nothing had me more excited than the 2017 Boston Celtics season. Throughout the offseason I waited and waited for the season opener vs the Cleveland Cavaliers. It felt like years but the Celtics had added two game changing players in the offseason both Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward.  Boston sat deprived of real all-star talent and finally after 3 off seasons we got the fireworks we had been waiting for. So when October 17th rolled around, the millions of Celtics fans across the world were ready for a great season full of great players and plays…. or so I thought.

The morning of October 17th I woke up with tremendous excitement. It was finally October 17th, the day marked when the Celtics regular season would start and where they would have a legitimate shot at challenging the Cavaliers for a spot in the NBA finals. I went to school that day dreading the time wouldn’t go by fast and that no teacher would pile up homework. However even if they did I wouldn’t have been doing it if I’m being completely honest. Of course, school felt like a decade and I looked at the clock every minute I could counting down the hours.  It felt as though with every minute on the clock was an hour would pass. School ended and I rushed home. It was a Tuesday so that meant I needed to work on legs and biceps in the gym. I ate as fast as I could barely giving myself time to chew. I got in the car and drove to the gym. At this point I felt that nothing was going to make this day any better than it was I got to work out with my friends, the Celtics are back, no homework it was as if it was too good to be true. On the way home from the gym I listened to the pre- game show on the radio as they talked about all the players and their expectations of the team this season.  I got out of my car and hurried inside. The game started soon and I showered quickly to make sure I could catch all the action. I rushed to turn the TV on and watched the player intros. It was great to see our new players ready to go and it felt great to have Kyrie Irving on our side this time as the Cavalier fans showered him with boos.

From the opening tip, the game was everything I could’ve hoped for as the teams traded baskets. Hayward hit a short jumper at the top of the key, Kyrie Irving had 2 baskets and emerging wing Jaylen Brown had a monster dunk. The players were flying around with playoff intensity and scoring at will.  From thunderous dunks to 3 point shots you could tell that the two best teams in the Eastern Conference were picking up right where they left off in the Eastern Conference Finals last year.

Kyrie Irving passes the ball in the game vs the Cavaliers


From the high of excitement that me and millions of other Celtics fan were in that day all came crashing down at the 6:48 mark of the first quarter. Newly acquired All Star forward Gordon Hayward cut to the hoop on a pass from Kyrie Irving. As he launched into the air he was hit by Lebron James and Jae Crowder and fell to the ground landing awkwardly on his leg. The sound of him landing was a bit odd however I assumed that he had hurt his back. As I watched I worried about his back and if he would be ok until the announcer for TNT Kevin Harlen said the infamous words “Hayward has broken his leg… Hayward has broken his leg.” I immediately looked up from the text I had been sending as the Camera cut to a floor view. What I saw is something that will be with me for a very very long time. Gordon Hayward our new All Star, had his foot facing 90 degrees to the left. I turned away from the TV quickly in disgust of what I just saw hearing nothing, not processing anything that was happening on the TV just in utter disbelief.  I laid back on the bed that I was sitting on and stared at the grey ceiling for a while until finally I got up and looked towards the TV again. The crowd was in complete silence and the players huddled each other in wake of what they just saw. Hayward was on the floor as multiple doctors attended to his leg.  It was something that could happen to anyone. Going up for the ball is something any player does and to see a freak injury happen to someone like that makes you realize that there is more to life than just a basketball game. At that moment in time it really shows that our hatred and competitiveness towards each other and opposing teams is all in a fantasy world. Fans in Cleveland were stunned and had their hand on their heads in shock as they watched the events take place. Players on both the Celtics and Cavaliers shook his hand and offered him well wishes as he was carried off on a stretcher.  Thousands of athletes from every sport tweeted well wishes as we came together. For the rest of that day the game was a blur. I texted my friends who watched in shock to. During the second quarter and into the second half it was amazing to think about just what had happened and how everything can change in an instant.

Memories like this, as gruesome as it is to think about teach us life lessons. Sports are great and many people have an incredible passion for their team but nothing could ever prepare anyone for something like that and it helps you look at the bigger picture in some aspects of life. The two teams who played that night were heavily favored to be playing each other in May for a spot in the NBA finals. When Hayward went down with the injury, players both offered respect and well wishes. He was taken in by both Cleveland and Celtics doctors who helped him in the Cavaliers training room after he left the court. The so called rivalry between the two teams disappeared in that 8 minutes while he sat there with his ankle facing sideways. Both Lebron James and former Celtic Isaiah Thomas went back into the locker room to see how Hayward was doing. We love competitive rivalries and we are all human and in sports we proudly support our teams and feel angry or sad when teams’ we hate win however at the end of the day we all go back to our normal lives the next day. No matter what team we never want to see injury and we realize in this moment that we come together and wish Hayward a speedy recovery no matter the team.