Hours after Gordon Hayward fractured his tibia and dislocated his ankle in the first quarter of Boston’s season-opener against Cleveland, Celtics voice Sean Grande dropped by CBS Sports Radio to share his still-raw emotions about perhaps the most gruesome injury in NBA history.
“I don’t think it’s really sunk in,” Grande said on After Hours with Amy Lawrence. “Your mind doesn’t really process right away, especially when you’re on the air. You sit and just watch. But as you’re talking live, when things change, life changes, a season happens, a moment happens, you’ve been on the air for so many moments – but not like this. And not to happen so early in the game. You’re just staring at this injury and your mind doesn’t really accept it, that it’s happened. It was a bizarre, emotional cauldron of a night to begin with. If you had said in the middle of July that Gordon Hayward’s Celtics debut would be absolutely buried, that was inconceivable – and in the worst possible way, he ended up becoming the story.”
Hayward scored two points in five minutes. And now his season is over.
Boston competed valiantly in his absence, ultimately losing to the Cavs, 102-99. There were positives for the Celtics: Kyrie Irving had 22 points and 10 assists, second-year forward Jaylen Brown scored a team-high 25 points, and rookie Jayson Tatum had 14 points and a team-high 10 rebounds.
Hayward, however, was the story.
“It was a game that was just completely all emotion, for better or worse, highs and lows – there was very little to do with X’s and O’s tonight,” Grande said. “Just a night that started bizarre and turned even more bizarre.”