The Team USA scrimmage game took an unfortunate turn for the worse when Indiana Pacers guard/forward Paul George suffered a severe and gruesome leg injury Friday night.
**The video below of Paul George’s injury sustained during the Team USA scrimmage is disturbing and may not be suitable for some viewers.
George ran down the floor in pursuit of opposing player James Harden during transition defense. After attempting a block, George came down and slid into the stanchion behind the basket and his leg wrenched in such a way that coaches, players and fans in the area covered their eyes or looked away in shock and disgust. It appeared to break just above his ankle. An official announcement of the injury has yet to be made.
“We don’t really know, exactly (the extent of the injury),” said director of USA Basketball Jerry Colangelo. “Everyone saw what we saw, but that’s for the medical team to decide, determine and then make the announcement about what it is and what’s going to take place.”
George’s parents were in attendance at UNLV’s Thomas & Mack Center and came to the court as he was being attended to by the medical personnel and the crowd nearly silent. After his leg was stabilized, George was taken off the court on a stretcher to a standing ovation.
“He appeared quite stoic (as the medical team was attending to him),” said Team USA head coach Mike Krzyzewski. “They allowed his father to touch him and to comfort him. I thought our trainers did a good job right away making sure that emotionally he was as good as possible.”
Krzyzewski led the players to mid-court and informed the crowd they were calling off the remainder of the scrimmage out of respect for George and his family.
“This is a very tough blow,” Colangelo said. “It’s a first for us in USA basketball to have something like this take place. It’s a tough situation for our entire organization, our coaches and players and very, very emotional. There’s no way the game could have gone on under the circumstances.”
“We need to just take a step back before we do anything at all. Our first concern, our primary concern, is Paul George. I wanted to reach out to the Indiana Pacers organization, I have a call into owner Herb Simon. This is a tough blow, not only for USA basketball, but for the Indiana Pacers. And so, as an organization, we’re just going to let a little bit of time go by here before we address rosters or any of that stuff. It seems unimportant.”
The focus is now on the stanchions in the arena. It was noted that they are only four feet from the baseline and that is closer than the NBA-regulated space.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver released the following statement:
“It was difficult to watch the injury that Paul George sustained tonight while representing his country. The thoughts and prayers of all of us at the NBA are with Paul and his family.”
Thanks everybody for the love and support.. I’ll be ok and be back better than ever!!! Love y’all!! #YoungTrece
— Paul George (@Paul_George24) August 2, 2014