With the conclusion of the NBA season, many fans were tuned in to witness some of the greatest players in the world, on the same court, competing for spots for the USA national team, in this year’s show case game. From the savvy play of James Harden, to the silky-smoothness of Kevin Durant, and the resurgence of all-star point guard Derrick Rose, many fans were granted an unexpected treat to see some of the top NBA superstars in action, nationally, this time of year. But some treats are inadequate and are better off not consumed. Indiana Pacer, Paul George, a rising star and tremendous talent suffered an open tibia-fibula fracture during the 4th quarter of the national show case game.

This gruesome injury shares a gaping resemblance to that of Kevin Ware, Ex-Louisville guard who returned to the court eight months after fracturing his tibia during the Eastern Regional Finals against Duke in the 2013 NCAA National Tournament, while making a play towards the ball. As Paul George was contesting a lay-up attempt by guard James Harden, he took a very abnormal landing resulting in his lower right leg grotesquely snapping in half. This was a very grueling, bleak, and emotional sight to the team, the fans in attendance and to Coach Krzyzewski especially, who was coaching on the opposing end when Kevin Ware sustained his injury during the NCAA Tournament.

The question this lamentable occurrence raises is, could this injury have been prevented ? There are many speculations, but one that stands out the most is the placement of the basketball goal. George sustained his injury not on an NBA floor, but on a college floor. The stanchion holding up the goal at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas  appeared to be much closer to the baseline, than at his hometown at Bankers Life Field House. This is a typical landing for George, but with the goal being so close to the baseline, and his momentum pushing him more further than where the stanchion is located at Thomas & Mack, this could have definitely played a part in why his leg buckled on him. What do you think?

While USA Basketball’s president Jerry Colangelo stated that “the stanchion  is not the issue here”, many have argued that the injury was preventable, and that we should expect some changes next year in the NBA to create more space for player safety.

Due to whatever speculation there is about this grueling injury, Paul George is one of our premier and elite athletes in the game. From barely getting to see the court early in his career, to rising as one of the greatest defensive stoppers and offensive threats in the league, if anybody can rebound and bounce back from a minor setback its Mr. George.

He has shown the willingness, not only to enhance his game, but to become a leader for his Indiana squad. With the support of his teammates, his USA brothers, friends and family, and idols such as Floyd Mayweather Jr., who visited him the day after his surgery, he has all the motivation to come back stronger and more tenacious than ever to chase his title and gold metal dreams, and more importantly, return to the game that he loves.

 

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