George Injury Will Start Serious Conversation About Offseason Play
Indiana Pacers forward Paul George suffered what could be described as a freak injury Friday night during the USA Basketball Showcase in Vegas.
George went up to block a shot and his leg sickeningly wrapped around the unusually large base of the basketball goal. There has come into question that the base of the goal was not regulation. Of course, all of this will be discussed in the coming days, but what will really come to the fore front of the whole conversation is the issue of offseason play.
After the injury the game ended with nine minuets left in the fourth quarter. They opted to not continue playing the game as a show of condolences to George. The reaction on the court from all the pros on the sidelines was one of shock.
Paul George is coming off of the best season of his career. He is only 24 years old and is already averaging around 22 points a game and led, border-line carried, the Pacers into the playoffs.
George is a tough player, though, and will bounce back from this injury.
I expect this will be looked at from multiple angles, including whether or not the goal was regulation, if the intensity of the play was necessary (likely placing some of the blame on the coach) and Larry Bird is not going to take losing one of his best players to an injury in a game that did not even matter lightly.
The effect this injury will have on the long term is going to be huge. Owners and coaches have long had a love-hate (mostly hate) relationship with offseason basketball, whether it is the Olympics, FIBA or in this case a scrimmage done in order to promote FIBA. They now have a moment that proves their concerns are legit, no matter how much of a freak occurrence this might be.
Through all the controversy that will arise from this, we all hope, and somehow know, that George will comeback even better.