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Kobe Bryant has an inspirational message for Gordon Hayward after devastating injury

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The Black Mamba has a message for one of the players he’s taken under his wing.

Utah Jazz v Los Angeles Lakers Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

The scene in Cleveland during NBA opening night was one Los Angeles Lakers fans can relate to. Gordon Hayward, within the first few minutes of his career with the Boston Celtics, crumpled to the floor in a heap. Hayward’s ankle hung limply in what’s currently being called a “dislocation,” while he also suffered a fractured tibia.

The Julius Randle parallel is an obvious one, with the excitement of watching the Lakers’ lottery talent as rookie being stripped from fans in Game 1 just a few short years ago. The Celtics were ready to usher in a new era with Hayward and Kyrie Irving as their foundational stars, but that’s all on hold now.

So why are we talking about this on a Lakers blog, anyhow? Enter Kobe Bryant, who dropped a LONG Instagram message for Hayward early Wednesday morning. Kobe had some inspiration he wanted to pass to Gordon, who he’s taken under his wing in private workouts since his retirement.

The recovery process is something Kobe had a lot of time to absorb following his Achilles injury. He’s previously spoken about the small victories, or “mini milestones” as he calls them in his message to Hayward, helped keep his focus on the bigger picture.

The lastest lesson from the Mamba to one of his disciples is to focus on the small steps which eventually will become the full stride he once had.

If you haven’t seen the injury, here it is. There is a nasty dangling ankle, and that’s the warning I give before you hit play: