Aaron Rodgers injury feels all-too-familiar for Boston Celtics fans

It was supposed to be the start of something wonderful. They had ushered in a new era that they believed would bring them to new heights that hadn’t been seen in years. It was hard to think of what was going to stop them. And then, just as the new chapter started, everything changed almost instantly. When Gordon Hayward landed on his toe on a botched alley-oop attempt, leading to him breaking his leg and dislocating his ankle in one fell swoop, it was like a living nightmare for the Boston Celtics.

Oh, whoops, this was supposed to be about Aaron Rodgers. Anyway, it was supposed to be the start of something wonderful. They had ushered in a new era that they believed would bring them to new heights that hadn’t been seen in-…okay, you get the idea.

Sometimes, you feel like the world just has it in for you. Like you don’t know what you did, but life just doesn’t want you to be happy. Not only that, but it seems like you can’t even take the time to enjoy the nice things since it will be taken away immediately. That’s what it felt like for the Jets to see Aaron Rodgers’ Achilles explode three plays into his first game with the team, and that’s most definitely how the Celtics felt when Hayward’s foot was pointing in the wrong direction on opening night.

How does Gordon Hayward’s Boston Celtics debut compare to Aaron Rodgers’ Jets debut?

It seems like a distant memory now, but there was a point in time when the Celtics getting Gordon Hayward was a ginormous deal. Hayward was coming off an all-star campaign with the Utah Jazz on top of going on a substantial playoff run, capped off with Hayward and the Jazz putting the Lob City era Clippers to sleep.

Though Hayward was seen as a massive free agent addition for the Boston Celtics, he was soon overshadowed by the acquisition of Kyrie Irving, whose exhilarating play style – not to mention his illustrious playoff resume – made his addition easy to outshine Hayward’s. With those two on the team, the Celtics had two certified stars who were supposed to lead the Celtics to another title run or two when it was all said and done. Kyrie understandably got the attention, but Hayward was more than qualified to be his number two.

Of course, that didn’t happen. We all know the story. The Celtics never got to see what prime Hayward would have looked like in Boston. On paper, he and Irving should have worked wonders together, knowing how well both could play both on and off the ball. It’s rare to possess a duo that could shoot and score at an elite level on top of being capable playmakers. Plus, having Al Horford provide even more spacing, passing, and elite defense to support them? This trio was built to make beautiful basketball together. Alas, the only time the Celtics got to see it through was during the preseason. Even more painful, they made it look too easy.

Thanks to a certain young duo that the Celtics also had waiting in the wings around that time, they picked themselves up even without Hayward to the point that he soon became an afterthought in Boston by the time he left. They say injuries are part of the game, but Hayward’s tragic injury leaves so much to the imagination of what the Boston Celtics could have been with him. Even if his bad injury luck has only continued since then.

Now, getting back to Rodgers, he has a much more accomplished career as a pro coming to New York than Hayward did when he came to Boston. The difference, though, is that the latter was only 27 when he joined the Celtics, whereas the former was 39. Hayward’s prime was supposed to be only beginning, while Rodgers’ career may or may not have been winding down anyway even before his Achilles tear.

Still, though, Rodgers’ debut for the Jets came with hype similar to Hayward’s in Boston back in 2017, if not more so. Both of their additions were supposed to symbolize that their teams were vying for the whole NBA enchilada. They were the shiny new toys that fans would have to privilege to enjoy in what was supposed to be an exciting new year, yet everything was undone in mere minutes.

The Jets impressively pulled out a victory over the Bills despite such a devastating turn of events so early on knowing what their goals were. Sadly, until they show otherwise, many will wonder if they have anything close to the ace in the hole that the Celtics unknowingly did in 2017 when they had the Jays fill in for what Hayward was supposed to do.

For several years, only the Boston Celtics knew the feeling of what it was like to see their season turn upside down from injury when it had just started. At least now, they’re not alone.