Team USA's intra-squad scrimmage in preparation for the 2014 FIBA World Championship was brought to an abrupt end when Paul George suffered a gruesome leg injury trying to defend a James Harden layup in transition.
The Washington Wizard's Twitter account confirmed the end of the televised scrimmage:
The USA Basketball Showcase has been called after a serious leg injury to Paul George. Prayers go out to @Paul_George24— Washington Wizards (@WashWizards) August 2, 2014
The Pacers supplied Larry Bird's statement on George's injury:
Statement from Larry Bird about Paul George: pic.twitter.com/xIRjSqxuwJ— Indiana Pacers (@Pacers) August 2, 2014
NBA on ESPN supplied Adam Silver's statement on the injury:
Commissioner Adam Silver released a statement on Paul George's injury: pic.twitter.com/Zh0LByFmhm— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) August 2, 2014
George addressed Twitter as well:
Thanks everybody for the love and support.. I'll be ok and be back better than ever!!! Love y'all!! #YoungTrece— Paul George (@Paul_George24) August 2, 2014
Team USA head coach Mike Kyrzyzewski gave a quick explanation on his decision to shut down the event, via The Oregonian's Joe Freeman:
Coach K: "With the serious injury that we've had ... and with respect to Paul and his family ... the scrimmage is done."— Joe Freeman (@BlazerFreeman) August 2, 2014
The injury occurred in the fourth quarter. George was racing back on defense to contest James Harden's fast break layup, and upon landing his foot appeared to get caught in the stand that props up the basket, causing his leg to twist and break.
Busted Coverage tweeted a Vine of the incident (Warning: video of injury is extremely graphic.)
The showcase was designed to finalize Team USA's roster for the FIBA World Championships. George averaged 21.7 points, 6.8 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game with the Indiana Pacers last season and was one of the best players featured in the star-studded camp.
Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin immediately tweeted out support of his fellow NBAer:
Prayers up to @Paul_George24 hate to see that happen to anyone.— Blake Griffin (@blakegriffin32) August 2, 2014
Team USA will have to solider on in upcoming exhibition games without one of their better wing players.
The devastating nature of his injury does not bode well for his participation in the upcoming 2014-15 NBA season. George is one of the more promising guards in the Association, despite struggling for various stretches of last season. Hopefully George will have a steady, smooth recovery and be able to resume his NBA career with minimal complications.