Gordon Hayward has been getting sage advice from Kobe Bryant while he continues to recover from his season-ending injury.
The Celtics forward sat down for an interview with ESPN to talk how his rehab has been going and he revealed Bryant has actually been a huge help to him.
“[Kobe Bryant] sent that Instagram post, and he’s emailed me a couple times too, just talking about attacking each day, set many goals and that’s my mindset. How can I get better with my ankle today? Be better today than I was yesterday? I think if I slowly work like that, I’ll be back before I know it.”
Hayward didn’t go into many details about the emails he’s been getting from Bryant other than saying he was told to set goals and attacking each day.
In October, Bryant shared a post on Instagram with strong words for Hayward after seeing the player get injured. Bryant previously suffered a brutal injury of his own when he tore his Achilles at the end of the 2013 season.
Bryant said Hayward has a long road ahead of him, but he could come back better than ever.
“Be sad. Be mad. Be frustrated. Scream. Cry. Sulk. When you wake up you will think it was just a nightmare only to realize it’s all too real. You will be angry and wish for the day back, the game back THAT play back … It’s a long journey but if you focus on the mini milestones along the way you will find beauty in the struggle of doing simple things that prior to this injury were taken for granted. This will also mean that when you return you will have a new perspective,” Bryant wrote.
Hayward suffered a gruesome injury in the regular season opener against the Cavaliers. The small forward landed awkwardly on his foot and ended up with a fractured tibia and a dislocated ankle.
Earlier this week, Celtics GM Danny Ainge shared a photo of Hayward already putting in the work to get back on the basketball court. In the photo, Hayward was practicing free throws while sitting in a chair with a leg brace on.
The Celtics have carried on in Hayward’s absence with Kyrie Irving leading the way. Boston currently sits at the top of the Eastern Conference with a record of 10-2.