The injury was about as gruesome as it gets in sports. Even if you couldn’t see what awful thing happened, you could hear the sound of something terrible occurring in Gordon Hayward’s left leg. Fans seated beneath the basket, Hayward’s Boston Celtics teammates and members of the Cleveland Cavaliers averted their eyes.
But one guy saw all of this transpire and thought only of how he could make a big dig at one of his favorite targets. What, he wondered, does this mean for LeBron James?
Skip Bayless, who is highly paid to blab for the poorly rated Fox Sports “Undisputed” show, tweeted: “If Gordon Hayward is gone, maybe for the season, LeBron’s path to losing a sixth finals gets even easier.”
If Gordon Hayward is gone, maybe for the season, LeBron’s path to losing a sixth finals gets even easier.
— Skip Bayless (@RealSkipBayless) October 18, 2017
He was pretty quickly called out for his soullessness, too. Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch, who frequently details just how ratings-challenged “Undisputed” is, put it succinctly. “No ratings tweets on this one,” he tweeted. “Just a reminder that executives have paid this clown [expletive] sports TV goon millions and it’s sickening.”
The Toronto Raptors’ DeMar DeRozan was furious, replying: “You’re a clown for that tweet after a man gets hurt with a potential career ending injury! [Expletive] bigger then [sic] basketball!”
How Bayless could miss the reaction of Hayward’s fellow players was rather mystifying. Dwyane Wade took a knee and put a hand to his face. Cavs players turned away and Celtics players huddled, with rookie Jayson Tatum putting his arms around Kyrie Irving.
Hayward suffered the injury in the first quarter of the NBA season opener in Cleveland, his leg bending awkwardly after he rose for an alley-oop pass and collided with James. He collapsed immediately and trainers and medical personnel rushed onto the court. Hayward was taken off on a stretcher and will undergo surgery Wednesday to repair a dislocated ankle and fractured tibia.
Golden State Warriors Coach Steve Kerr saw it in Oakland as the team was preparing for its opener against Houston.
“It was terrifying,” Kerr said. “The whole coaches’ office was just devastated watching it. It just shows the fragile nature of what we do.”
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