Morning Shootaround — August 3



VIDEO: Grant Hill sits down with Chicago Bulls star Derrick Rose in Las Vegas

NEWS OF THE MORNING
George’s path to recovery will be arduous, clearly defined | Love deal likely by the end of the month | Cuban rips the IOC in wake of George injury | George, family have battled adversity before

No. 1: George’s path to recovery will be arduous but also clearly defined — Paul George has a rugged road ahead of him as works his way back to All-Star form after suffering an open tibia-fibula fracture during Team USA’s scrimmage Friday night in las Vegas. While the injury is rare for NBA players, medical experts see the injury often and provide some context on what the Indiana Pacers All-Star is facing with his recovery and rehabilitation. NBA.com’s Jeff Caplan provides some context:

The good for news George, an All-Star in each of the last two seasons, is that while the injury is rarely seen in basketball, it is a common sight among orthopedic surgeons. The procedure to repair it is also very common, according to Dr. T.O. Souryal, head physician for the Dallas Mavericks and a renowned orthopedic surgeon in sports medicine who is also president of the NBA Team Physicians Association.

“This is orthopedic surgery 101. They know what to do with an open tibia fracture,” Souryal said. “We see this injury in car accidents, we see this injury in motorcycle accidents, we see these injuries with people falling off a ladder, we see these injuries on the soccer field, so this is a relatively common orthopedic trauma injury. There’s a long track record of dealing with this injury and dealing with the issues that are unique to this injury.

“What makes this unique is that it was videotaped from five different angles.”

George, 24, faces an exhaustive rehabilitation process that begins immediately with simple, muscle-firing exercises that can be done from his hospital bed. As George moves away from early recovery challenges — such as infection — in the initial weeks following surgery, his rehab will escalate incrementally in intensity, complexity and duration as the bone heals over a period that typically spans 4-6 months. Souryal cautions that healing time for the tibia can be slow and involve complications, but he noted that for a young, well-conditioned athlete such as George, odds are high for a clean healing process.

Once the bone heals, the real work for George begins with what Souryal terms the late challenges. Regaining motion in his ankle and knee are crucial as George then begins the gradual strengthening process. A regimen that includes — at various phases — a stationary bike, walking on the underwater treadmill or zero-gravity treadmill and ultimately weight machines and leg presses is typical.

“During the recovery and healing, both of those joints can be involved in the injury, so he has to work on getting his mobility back, getting his knee moving normally and getting his ankle moving normally, and ultimately getting his strength back,” Souryal said. “During the stages, sometimes you’re on crutches, sometimes you’re in a machine or in a cast and you suffer a tremendous amount of atrophy. Part of the recovery is going to involve strengthening, and that by itself takes a long time to get your strength back.”

Will Carroll, sports injuries writer for Bleacher Report, recently spoke with Dr. Bert Mandelbaum about George’s injury. Mandelbaum is one of the top orthopedic physicians in sports medicine and said George can expect to be on crutches for six weeks.

“Then the athlete gradually progresses to rehabilitation, physical therapy and cross training,” Mandelbaum told Carroll. “Once the fracture healing is strong, the athlete will return for progressions to practice and games. Once completed, most athletes can perform at pre-injury levels.”


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

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No. 2: Parting of ways between the Timberwolves and Love by the end of the month — There’s no need for any more posturing from either the Minnesota Timberwolves or the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Kevin Love trade is going to happen. Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor says it’s likely to happen as early as the end of the month. The Cavaliers cannot trade Andrew Wiggins, the No. 1 overall pick in last month’s Draft, until Aug. 23. So we should expect to see Love alongside LeBron James in training camp in October. Charley Walters of the Pioneer Press explains:

The Timberwolves say now that they expect to trade disgruntled all-star Kevin Love and that a deal is expected Aug. 23 or Aug. 24.

“I’m saying it’s most likely because Kevin has made it pretty clear that that’s what he wants to do,” Wolves owner Glen Taylor told the Pioneer Press.

Taylor’s preference, though, is that Love remain in Minnesota. The August dates for a trade are because that’s when the Cleveland Cavaliers officially can deal their first-round draft pick, Andrew Wiggins, to the Wolves.

Cleveland remains the strong bet for Love to join LeBron James. But the Wolves continue to listen to offers from Chicago and Golden State, with Philadelphia expected to be part of a three-team deal.

A Love trade could give the Wolves a brand new look, with multiple players coming and going.

“I think when you move somebody like Kevin, who’s been an all-star, that you’ve got to get a number of players on your team that have the potential of replacing him,” Taylor said. “Flip(Saunders, Wolves president) has looked at this team and offensively, he’s got a pretty good team. Defensively, it’s got to be better, so I think that’s where some of the areas will be replaced.”

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No. 3: Cuban rips IOC in wake of George injury — If anyone was going to chime in on the Paul George injury situation and what it means for the future of quadrennial competitions and the involvement of NBA players, it was Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban. He’s never been shy about opposition to the current format and made his stance clear again Saturday to Marc Stein of ESPN.com:

Long known as the NBA’s most outspoken critic of international basketball, Cuban has again questioned when NBA teams allow their players to play for their national teams while taking on the bulk of the financial risk in the event of injury.

“My thoughts go out to Paul,” Cuban told ESPN.com on Saturday. “I really feel for him.”

Cuban then reiterated his longstanding criticism of the NBA’s agreement with FIBA, which stipulates that only players themselves can refuse their country’s invite to play for the national team except in the event of a “reasonable medical concern.” The San Antonio Spurs invoked that clause this week to prevent Manu Ginobili from representing Argentina at FIBA’s upcoming Basketball World Cup thanks to the lingering effects of a stress fracture.

“The [International Olympic Committee] is playing the NBA. The IOC is an organization that has been rife with corruption, to the point where a member was accused of trying to fix an Olympic event in Salt Lake. The IOC [pulls in] billions of dollars. They make a killing and make Tony Soprano look like a saint.

“The pros in multiple sports are smart enough to not play when they are eligible free agents. But teams take on huge financial risk so that the IOC committee members can line their pockets.

“The greatest trick ever played was the IOC convincing the world that the Olympics were about patriotism and national pride instead of money. The players and owners should get together and create our own World Cup of Basketball.”


VIDEO: Derrick Rose was the center of attention in Las Vegas last week, for plenty of reasons

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No. 4: George, family have battled adversity before — It should have surprised no one that Paul George seemed to be the calmest person in the Thomas & Mack Center Friday night after he suffered that gruesome compound fracture of his right leg. George and his family have battled and dealt with adversity before. SI.com‘s Lee Jenkins provides the details:

Paul George’s parents are named Paul and Paulette, a source of mild amusement and great inspiration. George grew up in Palmdale, a desert town one hour north of Los Angeles, where basketball prospects are as rare as blizzards. When he was 10, shooting hoops in his driveway, he heard the scream of an ambulance careening around the corner. He wondered where it was headed. Then he saw his father carrying his mother through the front door of their home.

“We all rushed to the hospital, and that night, the doctors declared her dead,” George said, in an interview last year. “I remember grabbing a blanket and sleeping on the floor next to her bed.” Paulette had suffered a stroke and was diagnosed with two blood clots on her brain. But the doctors were wrong. She remained very much alive.

“It took me two years to be able to walk and talk and see again,” Paulette said. “He watched me fight. I think that experience made a big impact on him. He saw, ‘My mom is really struggling, but she’s not giving up. She’s strong.’” Paulette marveled at the way her only son picked up the household slack and she started calling him Man. The nickname stuck. Family members still call him Man for the toughness he demonstrated as a boy.

George thinks about his mom, now partially paralyzed on her left side, at the best of times: when he’s hanging 40 on the Blazers, when he’s discombobulating LeBron James, when he’s deep in the Eastern Conference Finals. Her example will provide perspective as George begins the long recovery from a compound leg fracture suffered Friday night during a Team USA scrimmage in Las Vegas.

Paul and Paulette were in the stands at UNLV’s Thomas & Mack Center, watching their son chase down James Harden on a fourth-quarter fast break. They saw his right foot land awkwardly against the basket stanchion and rushed to his side. They were with him at the hospital, where he underwent surgery, and tweeted defiantly: “I’ll be ok and be back better than ever!!!”

Unlike many NBA superstars, who were prodigies by 16, George can recall what it’s like to be at square one. He wasn’t invited to join an AAU program until the summer before his senior year of high school, and even then, he was placed on the B team. Fresno State was the only major local college to offer him a scholarship, and in two years with the Bulldogs, he lost more games than he won. He went scoreless as a sophomore against San Jose State. Indiana gambled by drafting him 10th overall in 2010 and head coach Jim O’Brien planted him on the bench. When George predicted at a team dinner that he would be an All Star by his third season, one Pacer laughed.

George was right, and if you conducted a MVP poll this January, he probably would have finished third behind LeBron James and Kevin Durant. He slumped in the second half, along with the Pacers, and finished ninth in the voting. But he still averaged a career-high 21.7 points and made the all-defensive team.  He was proof of how NBA players transform themselves in the summer, from benchwarmers to headliners, by working when no one is watching. George creates comprehensive checklists every off-season of skills he plans to burnish: ball-handling, shooting, post-ups. He once told Pacers head coach Frank Vogel he would return from the break a completely different player

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SOME RANDOM HEADLINES: -The stunning rise and fall of Donald Sterling  … Sebastian Telfair hopes time in China helps rejuvenate his career …   Warriors center Kuzmic has stress fracture … Placement of basket stanchion in Las Vegas at issue in George injury?

37 Comments

  1. mrkeyman says:

    i feel bad for the PACERS…its a freak accident that could cause GEORGE’s carreer

  2. Spurs Fan says:

    Go Spurs Go

  3. jermaine williams says:

    You dummies who think that clevelands big 3 will be better than miami’s big 3 is flat out dumb!!!!! Bosh can average 25 and 14 without lebron and was doing it with toronto and dwayde won an mvp of the finals and has 10 times better defense than irving with blocks and steals. wade averaged 18 with bad knees and he steps up in clutch games and him and bosh has clutch time experience over irving and love and plus they will have 3 max players and have to fill the roster again with multiple minimum salary players. I’m glad the bulls didn’t get love and I would’ve traded NOAH. He’s overrated and had nothing but turnovers and NeNe dooded on him in the wizards series!!!!

  4. JuanManuel says:

    what can i say about this, chicago bulls will win NBA champion this coming conference no doubt. :)

  5. Bill says:

    Being a Spurs fan, I have no love for Mark Cuban, but you have to admire the guy for what he has accomplished and his willingness to lay his opinions out there. He’s bold.

  6. HNIC says:

    lol MJ not having a superstar? #33 isn’t a top 50 player and in the HoF for being a scrub.

  7. Antawn says:

    Hope PJ recovers, what happened seems like a nightmare, just shocking.

  8. don’t worry indiana…Chicago is gonna stop cleveland and get to the finals ;)

  9. Superstar says:

    Cavs is desperate to get Love, to make it look good. Lebron always need some superstar beside him to win. That’s why LBJ will never be like MJ.

  10. abdihamid says:

    I think Indiana is got hurt but pg is gonna heal and recoved

  11. Akash says:

    Remember Kobe for Vlade Divac trade..? This mistake of Wiggins for Love sounds similar to me !!!!
    I guess this new team works better for Wiggins than Cleveland..

    • J says:

      No offense but Kobe, Wiggins is not.

      • Average Joe says:

        Yep. He’s no KObe all right because he’s a much better athlete than Kobe was at age 19 and at 6′ 8″ could be a much better defender than Kobe ever will. All he needs to put work on now should be his offensive repertoire and he’d be all set. Don’t get me wrong, I admire Kobe as a player but I see a much better player in Wiggins, if he develops correctly.

  12. Unkle Daddy says:

    Rose, come back strong. George get well, sir. Wiggins, sorry brother.

  13. kenny says:

    noah and dunleavy and 2 first for love would be a good trade for both

  14. Michiel says:

    How come I only read about a Love – Wiggins trade while it is possible to have them both if you wait a year and Love comes as a free agent? Or is that not a possibility? It would be the best for Cleveland it seems, although not for the Wolves.. Can someone tell me why this is not an option (or so it seems when I read all the trade stories) or not the best option? Bless

    • Grahaml says:

      Wiggins firstly will be competing with LeBron and Love for minutes. Secondly if he comes good in a few years time then he’ll want to start and will command a big pay rise that Cleveland won’t be able to match. Cleveland would also be risking a bidding war with other teams in a year and might just find themselves missing out on Love completely.

    • Larry says:

      Its not an option because if Cleveland doesnt pull the trigger now, then another team may step in and make a deal instead. Plus, theres no guarantee that Love will sign with Cleveland when he becomes a free agent.

  15. Ex knick fan says:

    I am sure there is a way to do away with those stanchions and also the ever present paparazzi under the baskets causing injuries try to think about player safety rather than the almighty dollar. Why not work on that Comm Silver

  16. harrythehawk says:

    This tragedy takes all of the excitement out of watching USA basketball for me. I’m certainly not a Pacers fan, but I admire Paul George as a player. Get well soon and best wishes. I guess this also means guys like Milsap and Korver have a chance to advance and make the cut? I guess we will know in 2 weeks. Kevin Durant, be careful!!!!

  17. lol. Mark Cuban accusing the IOC of “lining their pockets”. Greed seems to be the key component in capitalism. Why else would someone desire billions of dollars? NBA owners are no saints. Get well PG.

    • charless702 says:

      Did you notice what he said towards the end? The NBA Owners should create their own World Cup of Basketball. He’s not upset that someone is making billions off the players. He’s just mad that someone else is making billions off these players and it’s not him and his group. However I think he’s somewhat right though. I think if the NBA and it’s owners were to put this thing together the players would probably make quite a bit more money. Honestly I think this whole thing is just a way for the NBA Office, not the owners or players, to make money on the side. I guarantee they’re (the NBA execs. not the Owners or Players) bringing in money with their agreement with the IOC. Honestly would these cups or any Olympic Basketball event be watchable if they didn’t have the best players in the world playing in them? Well the best players in the world are NBA players. I really can’t stand Mark Cuban but he’s a great business mind and he tells it like it is. Why should some foreigners make huge profit off of the NBA’s Owners and Players?

  18. THE Bo Dallas says:

    Prayers tp PG24… All he has to do is to BOLIEVE!

  19. olbl says:

    if you give kevin love take the time to take everything you can get for him because he will make the cavs win titles..because
    you know it, combine forces with the King “LeBron” in cleveland is the only way to earn rings

    • charless702 says:

      LMAO. Lebron struggled to win titles with Wade, Bosh and a few good role players. Kevin Love hasn’t even made the playoffs and neither has Kyrie Irving. In fact Kyrie has led the Cavs to 2 number 1 overall picks. If this trade goes through they become the favorites in a TERRIBLE Eastern Conference but that’s about it. Spurs would sweep Cleveland again if they played in next years Finals. Thunder, Clippers, Rockets, Mavs and Grizzlies would all beat Cleveland in a best of 7. Also despite the Cavs being the favorites they still would be neck and neck with the Bulls. Your biggest reason for thinking this is because “the cavs win titles..because you know it.” lol. It’s hard to take you serious.

      • facts04 says:

        @charless702 In what way did lebron struggle to win titles in Miami? He was far and away the best player on the team the last three years in miami and he literally carried the team on his back during his final season there. Lebron will win a title in cleveland, maybe not the first year but they will come out of the east and once the spurs fall apart there won’t be any team that is clearly better than the cavs.

      • sirsparhawk says:

        Uh the Cavs big 3 would be superior to the heats big 3. Why you ask? SImple, James is at his peak, KLove is far superior to bosh, and Kyrie is superior to Wade and healthier. Wade was plagued by injuries and inability to shoot, Kyrie can drive just as well, shoot way better ( 3 point champ ) and is young and health enough to only get better. They have a better starting lineup but Im not sure about their bench.

      • angelo says:

        Love can’t play D like bosh does. Wade and Lebron worked because wade plays the offball while lebron is on the point. I don’t see irving being as effective at that spot. Miami also built a perfect complement for them. Bunch of selfless players that knows their job and do them right. People also tend to overlook how Spoelstra managed the big 3. I’ve never liked the heat since 2006 (mavs fan) but i saw in the big 3 era that they just really wanted to win. That they were willing to give up something and reinvent their game to fit together. I don’t see that in irving who was a rising superstar, waiters who wants to be famous so bad and no bench.

  20. OKC says:

    I hate to see a player with such an amazing work ethic get hurt like this. I’m confident PG will come back strong, but the way he gets better so fast, it’s a shame he will miss out on another year of improvement. Hope he has a speedy recovery and stays positive.

    • cp10 says:

      Same here. I watched the replay again and I realize the pros have their ankles taped up so my guess is the tape probably saved his ankle from becoming dislocated – which is a far, far worse injury. He’ll be doing 360 windmills again by next year.

  21. Joe Kim says:

    George’s injury is going to have a serious impact on the Eastern Conference this season and, more importantly, the future of USA Basketball: http://straighthoops.com/the_aftermath.html

    • charless702 says:

      Maybe it will have a slight impact on the future of USA Basketball but it will have zero meaning on the Eastern Conference. Indiana is not a legit contender in the East. Even if George wasn’t injured and Love doesn’t go to Cleveland they still have no shot. Cleveland would still win in a best of 7 and Chicago would steamroll them.

    • Superstar says:

      Impact on the Eastern Conference? Sure it does. All the teams in the East are “delighted” to PG injury. Let’s be honest here. You may see and read good tweets…. but this means advantage to all East teams.