I wanted to reach out and make sure he was all right and let him know we’re thinking of him and hopefully he’s back out there as soon as he can. —Joe Ingles
SALT LAKE CITY — Utah Jazz players and coach Quin Snyder reacted sympathetically to the horrific injury to longtime Jazzman Gordon Hayward in Boston’s Tuesday night NBA opener.
Snyder said he wasn’t watching when Hayward was injured but said within a minute he got a text from his point guard Ricky Rubio telling him about it.
“I turned the television on and I had an emotional reaction,” Snyder said. “You feel awful for him, you really don’t know how to respond. I reached out to him and told him with every bone in my body I know he’ll overcome this. He hit me back after a little while and said, 'Thanks, Coach.' I’m not his coach right now, but when you have a player and you become close to him that relationship is always there. Everyone on our staff and players felt the same way.”
Joe Ingles was pretty close to Hayward and said he called him later in the evening.
“I wanted to reach out and make sure he was all right and let him know we’re thinking of him and hopefully he’s back out there as soon as he can,” Ingles said. “Obviously he was pretty down and disappointed, but he’ll work out what he needs to do to get back and no doubt he’ll be back better than before.”
Rookie Donovan Mitchell never played with Hayward but saw similar injuries to Louisville player Kevin Ware and Paul George in a game for the U.S. team. He was watching Tuesday night’s game when the injury happened, but not since.
“I haven’t watched the video since, but my prayers and thoughts are with him and his family,” he said. “He’s been part of the community for many years. That’s life, not even basketball at that point.”
Jazz president Steve Starks reacted on Twitter about the injury.
“I just saw what happened. Feel terrible for Gordon and Robyn. Here’s hoping for a quick recovery,” Starks wrote.
Snyder said all NBA players understand such an injury can happen at any time.
“Some of us empathize and all of us sympathize," he said.