NBA star Paul George experienced a gruesome injury during the Team USA basketball scrimmage at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nevada on Friday.
While chasing James Harden to attempt a block shot, George jumped and landed awkwardly after his foot hit the basketball stanchion. George’s lower leg broke in half as his foot dangled from the rest of his leg.
Players, coaches and fans were in shock as George was carried off the court with an injury that will keep him out of basketball for a year.
George’s injury could be a watershed moment for Team USA and the NBA. While players take pride in playing for their country in the World Cup of Basketball and the Olympics, they choose to do so without compensation.
NBA players will now think twice about participating in Team USA basketball. NBA coaches and general managers will likely discourage their franchise players from being a part of Olympic competition.
The NBA is a multi-billion dollar business and it’s risky to have their best players competing outside of league sanctioned events. George will miss the entire season and the Indiana Pacers will likely fall out of playoff contention in his absence.
It was a freak injury and the first major Team USA basketball injury since NBA players began competing in 1992.
But George’s misfortune could change the scope of USA basketball forever. It will not be a surprise if NBA stars drop out of Team USA basketball all together. The team will likely be made up of second tier NBA players and top players in college in the near future.