WATCH: ’Emotional’ Hayward recalls how his family felt after horrific injury
Most basketball fans still have the sight of Gordon Hayward’s gruesome leg injury etched in their minds, but luckily the former Butler star is now on his long path to recovery.
The freak incident took place during the 2017-2018 NBA season opening night, which just happened to be Hayward’s first game as a member of the Boston Celtics.
In his first appearance to the media after the successful surgery, the 27-year-old forward wore his heart on his sleeve and detailed the incident in an emotional interview with TODAY’s Matt Lauer.
Around the 3:35 mark of the clip, Hayward detailed his family’s reaction to the accident—particularly his parents—who were inside the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland when it happened.
“As a parent, you don’t want your child to go through that,” a teary-eyed Hayward said.
“And as a parent myself, it’s like thinking I would rather take their pain. And this is where it makes me emotional because … I wouldn’t want (my daughters) Bernie or Charlie to go through that.”
The one-time All-Star also recalled how heartbroken he was to see his mom in tears.
“I remember seeing my mom, and she’s crying. Like that’s just tough. It’s tough to see your parents cry too, because then it makes you emotional.”
Hayward is expected to miss the rest of the 2017-2018 NBA campaign, but has vowed to remain involved with the Celtics this season. /ra