First off, prayers to Paul George and his family in this tough time. I can’t imagine a situation like that.
It’s incredible how the spotlight was supposed to be on Derrick Rose, who is returning to the court after two knee injuries and surgeries. And instead, the scrimmage was and will be known for a horrific injury.
Paul George sustained a compound fracture of his left leg Saturday night. He was defending James Harden, which he had done multiple times in practice. In a freak way, George’s leg was caught in the stanchion of the hoop, twisted, and well, pretty much snapped. I’m not going to post it below. Look it up if you haven’t seen it. It is pretty gnarly.
This has two main impacts.
1. Indiana Pacers
2. Future of USA Basketball
1. The Pacers had a devastating collapse late last season. It included Roy Hibbert literally not recording a stat in multiple games, Paul George shooting terribly, and the whole team not playing defense. The Pacers will be better than that in beginning of this season, but Paul George is their main scorer. The Pacers need to sign someone. Hopefully Solomon Hill can step up, but the Pacers bench was one of their many problems last year. Overall, this injury is devastating for the Pacers. This will make their playoff aspirations a struggle.
2. This injury only isn’t a terrible accident, but it may change USA basketball. First off, no one is to blame for this. It’s a freak injury. Don’t blame it on the stanchions. Yes, they were a little closer than usual, but this is a scrimmage. This is more of a practice than anything. That same type of fast break or transition happens all the time. Whether it’s a game or practice. It’s so unfortunate that it had to happen to the NBA’s 3rd best player, let alone anyone else. So, what does this mean for USA Basketball? Well, it could mean no more superstars. Not a rule change, but guys simply declining to prevent injury. Remember how I trashed Kevin Love for sitting out? (I couldn’t find the tweet) I somewhat take that back. Love quit because of his trade value, not injury. Anyways, USA Basketball could become a team of young stars. Not players like Lebron, KD, or Carmelo, but guys like Anthony Davis, Chandler Parsons, and Jeff Teague. It could be a fun change, if it happens, but you have to worry about the competition. Experienced teams like Spain would probably kill USA. It’s a interesting idea, but concerns would remain.
Again, prayers to Paul George and his family. Hopefully he comes back next season stronger and better than ever.