In a meeting of the Celtics’ past and potential future, Gordon Hayward sat down with Paul Pierce for an interview that aired before Wednesday’s nationally televised game against the Los Angeles Lakers.
In the interview, Hayward recalled the immediate moments after his horrific ankle injury and having the Celtics trainers “pop [his] foot back into place” while he laid on the court.
“As I’m being carted off, I had just these emotions like, ‘Am I done? Like, is my career over?'” Hayward told Pierce, who now works for ESPN as a studio analyst.
Hayward said he battled some “dark times” and “negative thoughts,” but said the support from other professional athletes who had suffered traumatic injuries, as well as Kobe Bryant, helped lift his spirits.
Pierce pointed to the Celtics’ blank banner in their practice facility and said he’d like to see Hayward help fill it in.
“I can definitely see this team one day winning the championship with you being a very big part of it,” Pierce said.