NBA.com staff reports
The USA Basketball team will remain completely intact after the devastating loss of Paul George, reports ESPN’s Brian Windhorst.
Although there is undoubtedly heightened concern within the group after watching George suffer a horrendous compound leg fracture late in Friday night’s intrasquad scrimmage, sources told ESPN.com that various Team USA players have talked among themselves about the need to stay together, with showing support for George ranking as one of their primary motivations.
“No one is pulling out,” one source told ESPN.com this past weekend.
Added one general manager who has a player on the Team USA squad: “No one on this team wants to walk away because that would seem unfair to Paul. If there is any fallout from this injury, it may not be felt until the next time invites [for Team USA] go out.”
This report may come as a bit of surprise after George gruesomely broke his right leg during the fourth quarter of the USA Basketball Showcase (a scrimmage) on Friday. Early reports indicate that George may need the entire 2014-15 season to recover and an injury of this magnitude could convince any player (especially stars like Kevin Durant and Derrick Rose) that playing for USA Basketball was not worth the risk of injury.
But the pros and cons of international basketball are something to debate prior to joining the roster. These 19 players are already wearing the gear and committed to achieving their goal of winning gold at the FIBA World Cup. Even more so now after losing George.
With no players withdrawing, coach Mike Krzyzewski and USAB chairman Jerry Colangelo must whittle the star-studded roster down to 12 players before heading to Spain for the World Cup. A few of these cuts are expected soon, prior to the team reconvening in Chicago on August 13 for a week of practice.