It’s always the most frightening moment in sports when you see a player have a serious injury. Such was the case in the Blue-White game tonight during the third quarter.
Paul George, the Indiana Pacers‘ young superstar, was hustling on a defensive fastbreak to try and block a James Harden layup. He jumped up and landed on his right leg awkwardly as his foot hit the base of the hoop. It was horrible to watch, much like when the Louisville Cardinals‘ Kevin Ware snapped his leg in half when landing after a block attempt a couple years ago.
It was so terrible to watch that ESPN only showed the replay once. But that was all that was needed. I urge caution with watching, but you can see it here.
Coach Mike Krzyzewski and the rest of the staff rightly decided to cancel the rest of the scrimmage. The distraught on the faces of all the players on the court made it clear that they didn’t want to continue playing, and it wasn’t necessary being an intrasquad scrimmage.
George has become one of the faces of the NBA over the past couple seasons, and was one of the top players on the USABMNT. His presence will definitely be missed in this 2014 FIBA World Cup, and, of course, Pacers fans everywhere must be shocked, angry and disappointed, as they should be.
It’s so hard to see a player go down in a scrimmage. But these things can happen anywhere: pickup games, practice, a driveway, a park. It’s a sad truth, but it happens.
The only beautiful part of the entire nightmare was how the fans cheered “TEAM USA!” and “PAUL GEORGE!” as he was down receiving medical attention. That was then followed by a great scene of all the players and coaches getting together for a prayer, and then Coach K thanking the crowd for coming and announcing they decided to be done for the night — which received much applause from the audience.
Best of luck to George in his rehab, and hopefully he can return for the Pacers sometime during the 2014-15 season.