INDIANAPOLIS – Concern over the health of Paul George following his severe leg break on Friday night in Las Vegas has come from just about every where into the early hours on Saturday morning.
As the Twitterverse buzzed about the leg injury, the Pacers’ forward underwent surgery late Friday night in Las Vegas to repair the compound fracture, a news release by USA Basketball confirmed on Saturday morning . In the statement it was said that the surgery went well and George would be in the hospital for a couple of days.
His parents along with Pacers general manager Kevin Pritchard and teammate C.J. Watson were at the hospital to offer support.
Team president Larry Bird was one of the first to offer his best wishes to George. Around 11:20 P.M. EST, he released this statement to the media on George’s injury:
“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. At this time our thoughts and prayers are with Paul. We are still gathering details and will have an updated statement Saturday.”
Just after midnight, NBA commissioner Adam Silver released a statement on behalf of the league on the George injury:
“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.”
Of course some of the most somber reaction came from Team USA itself, who George was hoping to join for the FIBA World Cup coming up later this month.
Head coach Mike Krzyzewski made the decision to stop the Blue and White Scrimmage immediately after the injury to George out of respect to the Pacers’ forward and to help his shaken team.
Krzyzewski even made an announcement on the public address system to the crowd at the Thomas and Mack Center asking for their understanding in the early conclusion of the game.
“Everything’s on hold. Everything’s on hold right now and it should be. It’d be so inappropriate for us to talk about anything else when there’s a serious injury like this,” said Krzyzewski in his opening remarks following the game. “So I appreciate your understanding and hopefully you’ll be patient in what we do going forward because we will be patient.”
None of the players on Team USA spoke following the game but Krzyzewski said that it was briefly discussed in the locker room but that the focus was always on George and his health.
“The main thing was just their concern for Paul and we as a coaching staff just told them to relax and that we felt at that point we should not go forward and not to worry about playing again,” said Krzyzewski on the players and the decision to cancel the rest of the scrimmage. “But let’s put all of our focus and all of our energy, whatever if you believe in a higher, someone up there above, let’s focus on that in regards to Paul.
“Look, anything can happen anywhere. A lot of things happen, and tonight, it happened during a basketball game, and we need to take care of that. That doesn’t mean it’ll happen again and again and again. It means that it happened right now and we need to take care of right now, appropriately and move on.”
USA Basketball managing director Jerry Colangelo said that he placed a call to Pacers owner Herb Simon after the injury happened in hopes of offering support and information on the injury to the franchise. Colangelo praised one of the team’s doctors, Riley Williams, for aiding George shortly after the injury.
“He’s part of our medical team. He’s one of the top orthopedic people in the world.,” said Colangelo of Williams. “(He) was right on the scene a moment later when it took place. So our whole focus is on the best care we can get for him, and we pray for his recovery and his family.”