SALT LAKE CITY — A full calendar has passed since the Cleveland Cavaliers hosted the Boston Celtics during the 2017-18 regular season opener.

But that game on Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2017, is still unforgettable to Utah Jazz forward Jae Crowder when he witnessed the most gruesome injuryhe ever saw on the hardwood in Cleveland’s Quicken Loans Arena.

“It took the whole air out of the building. I remember being there and I remember the silence in the crowd.”

Jae Crowder

“It took the whole air out of the building,” Crowder recalled, who was then a member of the Cavaliers. “I remember being there and I remember the silence in the crowd.”

While defending newly acquired Celtics swingman Gordon Hayward on a backdoor alley-oop cut, he landed awkwardly and horrendously broke his left ankle just minutes into the game.

“Guys were looking at each other on both teams puzzled with crazy puzzled faces and just feeling for him at the time,” Crowder described. “Nobody had probably been through that type of situation with that type of injury so you don’t know how to reach to him but I just feel for him.

“I just remember all the air being taken out of the building and it was just a sad moment to see him get carted off the court.”

Now, Hayward is fully recovered after missing the remainder of that season. On Friday, the former Jazzman is expected to make his much-anticipated return to Salt Lake City for the first time as a Boston Celtic, with Crowder now a valuable member of his former Utah franchise.

During the same offseason that Hayward signed with Boston, Crowder was part of a trade with the Celtics and Cleveland in the deal to land All-Star guard Kyrie Irving. Crowder was traded again before the February deadline as part of another …read more

Source:: Deseret News – Sports News


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