Paul George injury halts USA Basketball Showcase


VIDEO: Paul George was carried off on a stretcher with a serious leg injury

LAS VEGAS – USA Basketball’s first week of preparations for the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup was marred by a horrific injury to the lower right leg of Pacers forward Paul George.

In the first minute of the fourth quarter of the USA Basketball Showcase on Friday, George attempted to block a James Harden layup on a fast break. On his landing, his right leg buckled as it hit the basket support.

Overnight, USA Basketball announced that George had surgery to repair a open tibia-fibula fracture and would be hospitalized for about three more days.

Players around George were shaken by what they saw. As George received medical attention on the baseline of the Thomas & Mack Center, his mother and father came down from the crowd and were by his side. Pacers general manager Kevin Pritchard was also in attendance.

“[George] appeared, like, stoic,” USA head coach Mike Krzyzewski said afterward. “They allowed his father to touch him and to comfort him. I thought our trainers did a great job, right away, of making sure, emotionally, he was as good as possible. But Paul reacted well.”

Both teams gathered together in prayer before George was taken away in a stretcher. And there was a universal decision to end the game with 9:33 to go.

“With the serious injury that we had,” Krzyzewski announced to the assembled crowd, “and the fact that we stopped playing for a long time and, really, in respect for Paul and his family, the scrimmage is done. We want to thank you for your support.”

Afterward, USA Basketball managing director Jerry Colangelo said that there would be no decisions on the USA roster “for a while.”

“We need to just take a step back before we do anything at all,” Colangelo said. “Our first concern, our primary concern is Paul George.”

Colangelo and Krzyzewski said that they would be heading to the hospital immediately after speaking to the media. They had been set to cut the roster down from 20 to 15, likely early Saturday. But the team is not scheduled to reconvene until Aug. 14 in Chicago and there’s no urgency to make any decisions now.


VIDEO: GameTime’s crew discusses Paul George’s injury

Before George’s injury, Friday night was about the performance of Derrick Rose, who looked as quick and explosive as ever in his first game in almost nine months. But just as the USA and the NBA got one star back, it lost another. George was set to be the starting small forward for the U.S. Team at the World Cup, which begins Aug. 30 in Spain. And though there are no details on his injury as of yet, it is likely to keep him out several months.

“We are aware of the injury sustained by Paul George in Friday night’s Team USA game in Las Vegas and we are obviously greatly concerned,” Pacers president Larry Bird said in a statement. “At this time, our thoughts and prayers are with Paul.”

Bird filed another statement on the team’s website Saturday morning and added the following in regards to George:

“Our first thoughts are with Paul and his family. It is way too early to speculate on his return as the No. 1 priority for everyone will be his recovery. Our initial discussions with our doctors and the doctors in Las Vegas have us very optimistic. We are hopeful at some point next week Paul will return to Indianapolis to continue his recovery.”

George’s injury could also have repercussions for USA Basketball, which has gotten commitments from most of the best players in the country since Colangelo took over the program in 2005. George’s injury could be in the back of players’ minds any time they’re asked to play for their country.

“It’s a first for us in USA Basketball,” Colangelo said, “to have something like this take place.”

Questions will be asked about the distance between the baseline and the basket stanchion at the Thomas & Mack Center. It appeared to be shorter than at a typical NBA arena.

“Anything can happen anywhere,” Krzyzewski said. “Tonight it happened during a basketball game.”

George’s U.S. teammates did not address the media after the game and left the arena quietly. Kyrie Irving was seen crying in his father’s arms.

A lot of the players, along with dozens of other NBA players and former Louisville guard Kevin Ware, who suffered a similar injury last year, tweeted their support afterward. NBA commissioner Adam Silver also issued a statement.

“There’s a brotherhood in the NBA,” Krzyzewski said, “and to me, at moments like this, a family, a brotherhood shows its heart, shows its depth.”

69 Comments

  1. james89 says:

    We Pray for ur quick recovery..Philippines Baguio city

  2. AkronsBig Mike #1 fan of LBJ says:

    Come on Paul, we know what you are made of and you will be stronger and more determined than before. You got heart and soul along with the prayers of your fans, you got Jesus. Give God the glory and it will happen for you. Get well!

  3. BestWishes says:

    P.G. – get well soon, brother!

  4. M1978 says:

    I saw the injury not long ago. It’s horrible. Everyone who has played basketball ever and loved it must be shocked to see something like that. I had a lot of injuries (mainly ankle and knee) and always fear to breach the enemy defence with full force. After a serious injury it remains in your head, you play it over and over again. I hope PG will get back on the right track and loose his fear to become a better player than ever. (altough it looks grim this kind of injury can heal fully).

  5. dylan says:

    Wish all the best for Paul….Get well soon and let Pray for Paul….

  6. Tragic and sad for PG & Pacers says:

    Get well – but don’t rush back. If it takes 12-18 months to fully recover to as close to pre-injury status as possible, than so be it. Rehab and strengthen up, and don’t try any shortcuts to recovery. D-Rose has come back after 2 years of recurring and tough injuries – and looks to have all his strength back in the legs, let’s hope PG can too.

  7. WALDO says:

    Get well soon, we’re all rooting for you!!!!!

    • KeepGoingPaulGeorge says:

      Are you kidding me? FLOP? The guy had surgery and will miss a whole season of basketball. FLOP??? People like this make me mad.

  8. Eli Philbert says:

    I have been an Indiana Pacers fan from the moment I start watching basketball. When I heard the news tears came out my eyes. I wasn’t expecting something like this to happened to my number one player Paul. Take your time on this recovery so the moment you return you would be at your best.

  9. mehg says:

    prayin for him

  10. NickBlaster says:

    So SAD!!! I hope everything will be OK before the season . GOD is GOOD

  11. Don't give up, take time says:

    All respect to Paul George. Don’t give up, and take you’re time to heal properly. Don’t rush getting back to the game we all love.

  12. Drew says:

    Why would they play without an NBA approved basketball support goal system? Redicilous!

    Players have neuromuscular system have learned for many years the dimensions of the court and hoop. Now in first week of practice in Las Vergas on a different court with a goal support closer to the rim.

  13. Drew Franklyn says:

    We praying for your return Paul … Bless you

  14. kliff says:

    like same kevin ware injury

  15. Makenna king says:

    I hope paul is ok?😔😭😭

  16. Concerned NBA fan says:

    I’ve been saying this forever when will the NBA or anyone for that matter who cares about the players listen!? Either extend the neck of the goal and move the basket support further from the baseline OR bring the goal and backboard down from the ceiling and be done with the basket support totally. In addition you need to remove all the camera people from the baseline, yes they get fabulous shots and angles but its dangerous and we should care about our players more. This is not only a huge blow to team USA but to the NBA as a whole and Paul. I wish him nothing but the best in his recovery physically and mentally and he is in my prayers, but steps should no need to be taken to ensure nothing like this occurs again.

  17. Sam Kuye, Columbus Ohio says:

    I could not hold tears back from my heart when I heard about PG’s injury yesterday but as a firm believer in God, I still thank God that it was not more than that. Only what happened is what we see, what could have happened, only God knows. My family prayed for you this morning George and we will continue to pray for you daily. You will come out of this STRONGER and BETTER in Jesus’ name. Love you PG.

  18. eltoronegro says:

    Be strong PG, I believe U will return, Polish soccer player Wasilewski had a very similar injury, he is over 30 and will play in English Premier League this season, hope your cas will be similar

  19. Nick says:

    God bless you, Paul! I – and many others, I’m sure – are praying for your recovery to be complete and for you to return stronger than ever…

  20. NBA News says:

    ouch #PrayForPG

  21. NBA News says:

    ouch

  22. harrythehawk says:

    I saw the game last night and I woke up still unsettled. Get well soon Paul George. The NBA needs you back as the star that you are….You will be greatly missed.

  23. perucot says:

    ouchhh i’ve just had the anderson silva feeling. i don’t “care” about team usa more than that but the pacers man ! lance then george who will not play all the season..
    i’ve posted a comment about george relative hyped lock in team usa but this is clearly unfair for him, i wanted to see him show me that i’m wrong. Next time mister george, after a good recovery. keep positive

  24. Eduardo Tob says:

    Prayers and positive thinking coming from Brazil… I felt like this when we saw Ronaldo’s injury (soccer player)… but he recovered and will be the same with Paul, …hope the best for him, family and the doctors.

  25. richard says:

    i hate the indiana pacers but mostly i hated is what happenned to paul george,now i have more respect in you playing for your country then suffered this.so much respect on u.recoverded fast i will pray for u man

  26. prahumac says:

    you are come gonna back strong pg i wish him a speedy recovery!!!!

  27. Pj09 says:

    Get well soon Paul the nba is not the same without its best players

  28. MickLai says:

    This is so sad. I wish him the best and speedy recovery…. Who the hell design that thing anyways…. Didn’t you guys know nba player could jump so high and could easily get injured?

  29. WeiYAO says:

    Hope you best, George. You are a warrior. 真挚的祝福 from China

  30. Celtics fan says:

    That was reminiscent of Kevin Ware’s injury. Huge, Huge, Huge loss for the Pacers. Now i understand why some players don’t want to participate in exhibition games, FIBA or Olympics.

  31. Mike says:

    GET WELL SOME PG!! talk to grant hill, penny hardaway, and even danny granger about the mental approach of returning to the game after a fierce injury. When my roomate told me about the inury and I seen It, my good day was ruined. Terrible news, prayers go out to you and the George family!

  32. Rian says:

    get well soon Mr.George!!!

  33. Bien says:

    Get well soon Paul George! !

  34. mark says:

    Let me say god bless paul.george no player in.amy sport should suffer horrific injuries such as these but they do happen to young and old players but he will get well and he will still.be The pg of old an day be even better then before as for rose he looks like his old self again very happy to see it as for the pacers this is a double edged sword why you ask me well lance is gone pg goes down with injury this is last year of hibbert and west contracts so all.this could.mean the pacers lose this season not purpose but there is now depleted and get a rather high Draft choice next year to possibly trade to get that 3rd player and they should rest pg the whole season it’s only right and re.up on hibbert next year free uo.cap space by not re signing west and scola maybe 1 year of not being at the top will bring good fortune nobody wants to see things like this happen but they do remember the spurs David Robinson then he gets injured and they land Tim . Duncan well Ia.not saying Tim . Duncan is in the.mext Draft but the pacers won’t that lottery choice trade it let Pg come.back to form.brimg back.roy and go from.there so something bad could.hold the future to something great not saying it will happen but anything is possible

  35. teapho says:

    get well pg!

  36. allaroundballer says:

    Hard to believe, we got weak eastern conference last season. And now loosing one of eastern best player. All I can say is PG will be back!

  37. Kome the Black Dumba says:

    Hope you are alright and get well soon PG!

  38. asus23 says:

    Wow, so much respect for Paul. We never want to see anyone go down like that. Get well soon!

  39. 3rd world bball fan says:

    Gruesome injury – yet coming from a place in the world where I`ve unfortunately been able to see similar one´s in fútbol (soccer), I think his body will mend just fine considering the top-notch medical teams available..just have to work out the mental aspect of it. George seems like a true pro and he´ll get over this. But injuries happen in pro sports – and luckily it´s not the norm. MUCHA FUERZA GEORGE!

  40. Will says:

    PPl talk like D Rose the only young cat to get injured at a young age, OBVIOUSLY not. Get well soon Paul. Bulls Fan

  41. Caloh says:

    I’m a Bulls fan and was watching the game to see how Rose looked, but I wanted to wish Paul George the best. It may be a tough season for the Pacers, but I’m sure George will come back better than ever. Prayers and good wishes to him, his family, and the Pacer organization.

  42. Javier Gomez says:

    Wow I read it was bad, and knew I did not want to see the injury, but someone posted it on a loop in facebook and it was horrible. I feel for the guy, his teammates and anyone who bared witness to such an awful incident. This is clearly a freak accident and I don’t know what time tables are on an injury like that or what. Honestly I have not even been able to read the articles on this incident due to how graphic the injury and how much pain and sorrow it brings. My thoughts are with George Paul, his family, (USA & Indiana Pacers) teammates and fans. GET WELL!!!

  43. MackDaddy says:

    I’m so so sad after reading this story. I’m a grown man and I actually started crying after reading this terrible news and how its happened. Mrs came over to see why I was upset, and then she started crying after I explained it to her! Much love and best wishes to you PG from all the way over at Australia. People around the world love you mate.

  44. dolladdict says:

    I wouldn’t dare see the video for a second time! It keeps on playing in my head! My entire family was in shock to see what transpired. I wish him well. I hope he recovers from this very tragic injury and i hope to see him play again. Our prayers goes out to PG and to his family…

  45. TURSETTE says:

    man…

  46. Just Papa says:

    This happened to my son on his arm. Hoping for quick and a great recovery. Please be well and come back strong. Keeping you in my prayers.

  47. kobeballhog2 says:

    All backboard support should be hanged from the ceiling it should be the standard of all professional basketball. This way theres nothing blocking any player under the ring/board

    • Carlo says:

      Right.

      And non-pro’s can happily crunch in ground obstacles.

      And pro’s can happily crumble on photographers and cameramen.

  48. Pacersdynasty arch nemesis says:

    Pacersdynasty is now official dead.

  49. keith says:

    get well soon PG…

  50. Majorpain33 says:

    Prayers for PG!!!, he was the only one who can go 1on1 wth LBJ last season. sad to see him go down like this

  51. dexter Avila says:

    lets pray for him. i really feel bad for him. great player and has a good heart outside the court. wew

  52. Joe B says:

    Sending a prayer to PG…stay strong! You will overcome this injury! My thoughts and prayers to Paul’s family and Pacer Nation! #prayers4pg

  53. Billy says:

    I was watching the game it was just devastating ,That’s the worst NBA caliber injury I’ve seen Shaun Livingston. I wish him a speedy recovery and I hope to see him back on the court soon. he’s one of the few admirable young talents in the NBA. He will be back stronger

  54. mee(a)t says:

    This is just awful

  55. younghung says:

    Prayers go out to you paul. get well soon.

  56. YungMussuBlack says:

    Oh!!! That’s horrible. I really feel bad for him. No one saw this coming.

  57. Thomas says:

    Anyone who has seen the video of this injury will know that the placement of the shot cloak holder was VERY poorly placed. There was NOT ample room to land freely on the baseline. The wall (90 degree angles) added enough force to snap George’s calf.

    A lack of professional basketball equipment has a big part in this, and I hope USA basketball can give these athletes a proper court to play in… with PLENTY OF ROOM ON THE BASELINE!

  58. Karl says:

    So much respect with this guys. Yow Paul! I hope his recovery will be as fast as a lightning bolt. We pray for your recovery PG !

  59. grifter19 says:

    hope he covers fast