CLEVELAND -- The mood was somber and the game was almost an afterthought in the wake of a devasting left leg injury suffered by Gordon Hayward on Tuesday night at Quicken Loans Arena. LeBron James and Isaiah Thomas even reportedly left the Cavs bench during the first half to send well wishes to Hayward in the Celtics locker room before he was transported by ambulance to the airport.
Here's a collection of reaction to Hayward's injury from both teams after the Cavs' 102-99 win on opening night.
Brad Stevens: "I don't have any magic words for that. I mean, you're all hurting for him. I'm not going to try to take the human element out of it...He's put in a lot of great work. And I thought he had his most comfortable week as far as feeling like he was going to play really well. But now we'll hopefully get a full recovery, right? And so it's a tough deal, but I guess that's part of it: the risk of injury. I really feel for him."
Al Horford: "We were very excited to have him really flourish and he had a great week of practice. Everything was great. This is a setback for him, but for us we have to keep encouraging him. He needs to take his time, get well. And knowing Gordon like I know him, I know he'll be focused and he'll come back. Hopefully he comes back when he's ready, and at the right time. But he's a big part of our team."
Kyrie Irving: "I mean, it's tough. I've seen a few injuries in my career and I've had a few and I've seen a few. Probably two of the worst ones I've been in the game watching -- one was at USA (Paul George) and this one tonight. It's not a great sight to see but you gotta pick yourself up. Just keep on fighting, man. We understand that he, God willing, will be fine and we're going to continue to pray for him and be there for him as best we can."