Kobe Bryant’s poignant message to Gordon Hayward: ‘You will find beauty in the struggle’

Kobe Bryant drives around Gordon Hayward during the first quarter of a regular-season game, AP Photo/Rick Bowmer

In the aftermath of Gordon Hayward’s devastating ankle injury, countless NBA players of the past and present offered sympathetic messages for the Boston Celtics forward. But none seemed more raw than the words from retired Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant.

Bryant shared a photo of Hayward on Instagram with the following moving caption:

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. But reality gives nothing back and nor should you. Time to move on and focus on doing everything in your power to prepare for surgery, ask all the questions to be sure you understand fully the procedure so that you may visualize it in your subconscious while being operated on and better the chance of it’s success. Then focus on the recovery process day by day by day. 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. You will be so appreciative of being able to stand, walk, run that you will train harder than you ever have. You see the belief within you grow with each mini milestone and you will come back a better player for it. Best of luck to you on this journey my brother #mambamentality always.