Team USA planning Paul George tribute

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – Team USA will keep Paul George on the roster for the 2016 Olympics and is looking into options for a salute when the World Cup begins later this month, even if it means pushing for a change in international rules, the managing director of USA Basketball said.

While dismissing the possibility of the ultimate tribute of keeping George on the active roster for Spain and letting him likely win a medal without playing, saying each of the 12 spots are too valuable, especially with the United States thin on the front court, Jerry Colangelo said there are plans to make sure the injured star is a visible presence in Spain. Wanting to add to George’s motivation during the comeback from a broken right leg, Colangelo and coach Mike Krzyzewski have also already made it clear to the Pacers small forward that he is expected to be in the lineup in the Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

“We’ve told him we have a spot for him in ’16,” Colangelo told NBA.com at festivities Thursday in advance of the Friday enshrinement of the Hall of Fame class.

Without seeing how he comes back?

“Right,” said Colangelo, also the Hall chairman. “That’s what we told him.

“We thought it’s the right thing to do,” Colangelo said. “That’s it…. We didn’t give thought to all the detail. Just that when a guy goes down and all these things, the circumstances, his career passes before him, he’s out for a year, a year-plus, he’s not able to participate now with us — we wanted to throw that out and say, ‘We’re counting on you. You’ve got a spot in ’16.’ “

Making George feel part of the team in Spain is more challenging. USA Basketball has looked into a uniform patch with his initials or jersey number, and adopting the NBA tradition of writing a message on shoes, but the rules of FIBA, the sport’s international governing body, prohibit altering uniforms. So USAB may move to change the rules.

“As far as the players are concerned, this is a rallying point in terms of what happened to Paul,” Colangelo said. “We just want to take some steps that are yet to be determined that we’re talking about to bring attention to Paul George and what his contribution has been.”

Other developments as part of three days of events highlighted by the enshrinement of the Class of 2014 …

  • The final list was released for the presenters on Friday night, the current Hall of Famers who will accompany the newest inductees to the stage Friday night but have no responsibility beyond standing to the side during a speech. Mitch Richmond picked Chris Mullin and Ralph Sampson, Bob Leonard picked Mel Daniels and Larry Bird, the family of the late Guy Rodgers picked Earl Monroe, Sarunas Marciulionis picked Mullin, Alonzo Mourning picked Pat Riley and John Thompson, and David Stern picked Bird, Magic Johnson, Bob Lanier and Russ Granik.
  • Among the Class of 2014 without NBA ties, Nolan Richardson picked Thompson and Nate Archibald, the Immaculata women’s team of the 1970s will be represented by Cathy Rush, the late Nat Clifton by Meadowlark Lemon, and Gary Williams picked Billy Cunningham.
  • While Marciulionis is happy to be in the same class as long-time friend and former teammate Richmond, he is especially pleased to note the timing of being inducted with Stern, the former commissioner who turned international players making the jump to the NBA from experiment to commonplace. “He helped European basketball, our basketball, so much by opening those gates with the Soviet Union,” Marciulionis said. “I remember him in ’86 when he arrived in Moscow and we had those Atlanta Hawks games. To be in the same line with him is a great, great honor. It’s destiny. Unbelievable.”
  • Mourning: “I’m truly excited about this enshrinement. There’s no other place to go from here but heaven, to tell you the truth. The beauty of it all is this. You wait all your life, you put your heart and soul into the game of basketball, truly put your heart and soul in. For some instances for me, I put blood, sweat and tears into it. This is the reward for your passion for the game and playing the game the right way and contributing to the game. This is the reward for doing that. I’m excited about celebrating.”
  • Near-perfect weather is forecast for Friday night and the outdoor red-carpet arrival, before moving inside for the actual enshrinement.

18 Comments

  1. GrizzliesFanFoLife says:

    I feel bad for PG24 but when you get injured its apart of playing competitive basketball he doesn’t need a tribute but I hope PG24 does get better and heals quick

  2. Mark says:

    Tribute? He’s not dead, people…what we should be doing for Paul is wishing him the best in his recovery and that he still has a long, productive career ahead of him.

  3. harriethehawk says:

    You guys are so mean and hurtful. Give the guy a tribute. What difference will it make to you? Don’t watch it when it comes on!

  4. LakerLin says:

    This is ridiculous. Don’t get me wrong I love the guy, but he broke his leg. He doesn’t need a tribute. Comes with the job.

  5. Pacersdynasty says:

    Paul George isn’t that great.. this is getting ridiculous now

  6. Dan says:

    I expected more star players to join team USA this summer in memory and honor of PG. I Instead deplore the dropping of Aldridge, Love and now KD. This year should have been more that just playing for the country. I should have been also the need to complete PG’ work and fulfill his earnest desire to win gold for the country.

  7. Charly says:

    I like the effort… but I’m wondering what they would’ve done for a guy like Plumlee in the same situation

    • Jerrad Walls says:

      Oh surely you’re kidding.. Of course they wouldn’t have done the same for Plumlee. Plumlee wasn’t going to be the starting small forward either.

  8. TTKIN says:

    I disagree with the patch. The patch is for the anniversary of the birth of the franchise, or the death of someone close to the franchise. Not for an injury. That is stupid.

    Write on the shoes. But don’t do the patch. That will ruin the entire concept. If that were to happen, it would essentially say the patch is nothing special. For an injury? Injuries happen all the time.

  9. Davante says:

    Please do it.he deserves it and he’s my favorite basketball player

  10. Be real says:

    It is tragic he got injured so badly and it will be some years before hi is back on top. In meantime the coaching staff and USA basketball are at fault for not ensuring control on player going crazy in exhibition warmup friendly match. Coach K must have asked team to play controlled, and in that case Paul went for a contest … for what … only he can tell us. He does not have to prove anyone, he, in my mind is definite in 12 member team. He unnecessarily took a wild action, got hurt real bad. it was a casual match, it was too much high risk play though .. sorry

    • Andy says:

      You do realize that they are all playing for a spot on the team and not just for fun right now right?

  11. yo im really lebron fan but i like pg24 too i hope yu feel btter true fan michael

  12. usa says:

    the only thing i know is that paul george did impact on the USA players on playing on the US team cause look now at durant, why you think durant got out of the team, because what happend to george. i hope no one else quit the us team cause a want to see basketball playing

  13. thomasreid11 says:

    Paul Georges injury has not just impacted the USA or NBA, it’s affected basketball globally… So in consideration of FIBA’s rules, wouldn’t it be honourable for all countries to wear a patch in recognition of his leadership and contributions? Wouldn’t that be the RIGHT THING TO DO?

    • GaulPeorge says:

      Paul Georges injury has impacted ONLY Paul George (obviously) and Indiana Pacers. Hes not USA main or their only player and there are a lot of other players that can replace him and USA team is the best bball team in the world even with their 5th lineup so it has no impact on USA. How is Spain , Italy , Greece , France , Iran , Pakistan , Jamaica….. related to Paul George. Players in most of the other countries earn for their entire career the same amount of money Paul George earns in one 4 months , so why would they give honor to some multimillionaire who doesnt even know they exist and doesnt even care about them. Hes not the first guy who broke a leg and some of u are taking this to seriously , the guy have millions and broke a leg and will get the best doctors on the world , what honor are u talkin about. Why these players dont give up 70 % of their salaries cause they obviously dont need that much of money and give it to someone who dont have nothing, that is honorable.

    • usa says:

      Usa will be ok with what your saying, but all teams doing that are you crazy, paul george isnt michael jordan i got your point but this wont happend