LAS VEGAS (AP) —
Indiana Pacers All-Star Paul George has undergone successful surgery on
his injured right leg and is expected to remain in the hospital for
about three days.
The 6-foot-10 George is resting comfortably
after surgery at Sunrise Hospital to repair the open tibia-fibula
fracture, USA Basketball said in a release early Saturday morning. Dr.
David Silverberg, Dr. Joseph Yu and USA Basketball team physician Riley
Williams (Brooklyn Nets, Hospital for Special Surgery), were present for
the surgery, the release said.
George suffered the gruesome right
leg injury late in the U.S. national team's intrasquad scrimmage Friday
night. He 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.
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
The White team led George's Blue team 81-71.
got all the players together, Jerry addressed them and then I did. Very
emotional setting," Krzyzewski said. "There's a brotherhood in the NBA
and to me at moments like this family or brotherhood shows its heart, it
shows its depth, and that's what I thought our players showed during
George was considered a lock to make the final 12-man
roster for the World Cup of Basketball that starts later this month in
"Thanks everybody for the love and support," he wrote on Twitter. "I'll be ok and be back better than ever!!! Love y'all!!"
The Americans planned to reduce the 20-play pool to 14 or 15 players Saturday, but put off those plans after George's injury.
on hold right and it should be," Krzyzewski said. "It would be so
inappropriate for us to talk about anything else when there's a serious
injury like this."
The defending champion U.S. team had already
been weakened by player losses. Forwards Kevin Love, Blake Griffin,
LaMarcus Aldridge and NBA Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard had all pulled out in
Krzyzewski and Colangelo refused to discuss the
roster after the game, saying they didn't even know when they would make
"As an organization, we're just going to let a
little bit of time go by here before we address anything like rosters,
all that stuff," Colangelo said. "It seems so unimportant in the big
scheme of things when you have something like this take place. It puts
things in perspective."
George would have been a candidate to
start for the Americans alongside Kevin Durant. The two, along with
Harden, spent the week playing in 1-on-1 competitions after practice,
pushing one another while building chemistry leading up to Friday
"It's been fun, just getting to know Paul," Durant
said after practice on Thursday. "Of course I know James, but it's
competing against them."
Only Colangelo and Krzyzewski spoke after the exhibition.
led the Pacers to the best record in the Eastern Conference before they
were eliminated by Miami in the Eastern Conference finals.
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."
The Americans have to be down to 12
players before they open the tournament on Aug. 30. They are scheduled
to take the next week off before reconvening in Chicago for their next
practice on Aug. 14.
Players throughout the NBA posted their
concerns and well-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
Some NBA executives have long been concerned about
injuries to players during summer competitions. Pau Gasol, then playing
for the Memphis Grizzlies, broke his foot while leading Spain to the
2006 world title, and Manu Ginobili injured his ankle while playing for
Argentina in the 2008 Olympics. He is sitting out the World Cup while
recovering from a stress fracture in his right leg.
happen anywhere, a lot of things happen," said Krzyzewski, who was
coaching Duke against Louisville when the Cardinals' Kevin Ware broke
his leg during the 2013 NCAA tournament.
"Tonight it happened
during a basketball game. We need to take care of that," Krzyzewski
said. "It 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 then move on."