LAS VEGAS — Indiana Pacers All-Star Paul George suffered a gruesome right leg injury late in the U.S. national team’s intrasquad scrimmage Friday night.
George leaped to contest a fast-break layup by James Harden with 9:33 left in the fourth quarter and his leg smashed against the bottom of the backboard stanchion and crumpled.
Trainers immediately ran onto the floor, and after roughly 10 minutes of stoppage, George was taken out of the arena on a stretcher. With players looking visibly upset, coach Mike Krzyzewski then announced to the crowd that the scrimmage would not be finished out of respect to George and his family.
“This is a first for us in USA Basketball, to have something like this take place,” USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo said. “It’s a tough situation for our entire organization, the coaches, the players. Very, very emotional. There’s no way the game could have gone on under the circumstances.”
The White team led George’s Blue team 81-71.
George took to Twitter after the game to send a message to fans.
[tweet https://twitter.com/Paul_George24/status/495421155369439232 align=’center’]
George led the Pacers to the best record in the Eastern Conference before they were eliminated by Miami in the Eastern Conference finals.
“We are aware of the injury sustained by Paul George in Friday night’s Team USA game in Las Vegas and we are obviously greatly concerned,” Pacers president Larry Bird said in a statement. “At this time our thoughts and prayers are with Paul. We are still gathering details and will have an updated statement Saturday.”
Players throughout the NBA posted their concerns and wishes on Twitter, and NBA Commissioner Adam Silver issued a statement that read: “It was difficult to watch the injury that Paul George sustained tonight while representing his country. The thoughts and prayers of all of us at the NBA are with Paul and his family.”
To watch a video of George’s injury, click here. Be warned, however, that the injury is very gruesome.
Photo via Stephen R. Sylvanie/USA Today Sports Images