Indiana Pacers' president of basketball operations Larry Bird released a statement in response to Paul George's devastating leg injury, which he suffered in the fourth quarter of Team USA's scrimmage in preparation for the 2014 FIBA World Championships.
The Pacers' official Twitter account released the brief statement:
Statement from Larry Bird about Paul George: pic.twitter.com/xIRjSqxuwJ— Indiana Pacers (@Pacers) August 2, 2014
George released a statement on Twitter following the injury:
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
Earlier, All-Star center Roy Hibbert, George's teammate on the Pacers, tweeted his response to the horrific injury:
Damn— Roy Hibbert (@Hoya2aPacer) August 2, 2014
Wtf— Roy Hibbert (@Hoya2aPacer) August 2, 2014
George's injury occurred in the fourth quarter of the intra-squad scrimmage. He attempted to block a layup by James Harden and his foot appeared to get caught in the basket stand, causing his leg to break at an unnatural angle.
Busted Coverage tweeted a video of the incident (Warning: footage is extremely graphic).
Head coach Mike Kryzyzewski ended the scrimmage after the injury, per 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
George averaged 21.7 points, 6.8 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game in the 2013-14 season.
The two-time All-Star is the undisputed star of the Pacers team and his likely absence is a serious blow to the organization's hopes of making a run at an NBA Championship this season.
His athletic defense and wing-scoring capabilities figured to become even more critical to the Pacers success in light of rising star Lance Stephenson's offseason move to the Charlotte Hornets.
Injuries of this nature are rare and incredibly unfortunate; hopefully this one is not career threatening. George has a long road to recovery ahead of him and the support of the only NBA organization he's played for will be crucial to his ability to return to basketball.