If anybody can speak about what's going on in the mind of Paul George, it's Kevin Ware.
The former Louisville Cardinals guard broke his leg in the Elite Eight of the 2013 NCAA tournament. That injury was on the forefront of many basketball fans' minds when Paul George went down in the USA Basketball Showcase on Friday night in Las Vegas.
You can view the injury here. (Warning: Injury is gruesome in nature.)
After the Showcase was called off in the fourth quarter, Ware gave a phone interview on SportsCenter to offer insight about the situation.
"You just think how is this even possible," he said in the interview. "I just went into automatic shock. I was just speechless. Nothing I’d ever seen in my life. Once your adrenaline gets back to normal, the actual breaking-your-leg pain starts to kick in. It’s really hard to deal with. Even with the medication it’s tough."
Ware also tweeted out his support for George:
Man..— Kevin Ware (@5Juice) August 2, 2014
Minor setback for a major comeback PG.— Kevin Ware (@5Juice) August 2, 2014
Adam Himmelsbach of The Courier-Journal in Louisville wrote an article in March about how Ware was recovering. He returned to the Cardinals for a November scrimmage but reinjured his right leg on Dec. 17 against Missouri State.
In April, Ware announced he was transferring to Georgia State.
"I just feel like me leaving is a fresh start," he told Himmelsbach in May. "I know a lot of people think of me and think of the leg. But, I mean, I play basketball. I don't want to be known as a guy who just played for Louisville and got hurt."
Ware has clearly had difficulty moving on from his horrific injury, which will understandably cause some panic amongst Indiana Pacers fans.
Shaun Livingston, who suffered a bad knee injury in a similarly gruesome incident in 2008, attempted to allay fans' concerns about George:
I know people are in shock from Paul George's injury. He will be able to bounce back bc he has a warrior mentality.— Shaun Livingston (@ShaunLivingston) August 2, 2014
George tweeted out his thanks for all of the support he's received:
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
In a cruel twist of irony, USA head coach Mike Krzyzewski was on hand for both Ware's and George's injuries, as noted by Kyle Hightower of the Associated Press:
Just realized that Coach K was present for both Kevin Ware and Paul George's gruesome leg injuries. Tough memories to carry.— Kyle Hightower (@khightower) August 2, 2014
Until the extent of George's injury is known, it's hard to figure how long he'll be out and whether he'll return to the player he was before going down. He's at the very least looking at a lengthy rehabilitation process.
At his best, the 24-year-old is one of the best players in the league. George will undoubtedly make every attempt to retain that status.