Paul George’s freak lower right leg fracture during the U.S. national team’s intrasquad scrimmage at UNLV, made me think of several things.
The first thing that crossed my mind was that Injuries can happen anytime, anywhere. At least George’s injury came during a basketball game and not while walking down a flight of stairs or in a traffic accident, etc. Coach Krzyzewski, the USA men’s head coach, reiterated these sentiments with a statement after the game, “Anything can happen anywhere, a lot of things happen.Tonight it happened during a basketball game…It doesn’t mean it’ll happen again and again and again; it means that it happened right now…” I wholeheartedly agree with this statement by Coach Krzyzewski. This injury does not mean this will continue to happen or that it is an epidemic.
However, I would be lying to you if I didn’t occasionally think, we have our players working out all summer and what if one of them tears an ACL or breaks a arm? Is it worth having players workout if they risk injury for the season? Is the risk worth the reward?
I think the answer is of course “yes”. Athletes cannot live in fear of getting hurt and if honing your skills/individual improvement was not of the utmost importance then what role would coaches really play? However, it does get you thinking about the inherent risk every time you lace them up and take the court.
Another thing I immediate thought about was that George will never be the same. Hopefully I am flat out wrong about this, but you just never know.
Pacers organization must be devastated when you think that they were very close two seasons ago to potentially winning the NBA Championship. Now look at them…They may never get a fully recovered Paul George and their franchise could suffer for years to come. We will have to wait and see but their prospects for winning a championship in the near future may have just come to a screeching halt.
Lastly, I thought that with this injury and the cancelling of the rest of the scrimmage, will other NBA stars be fearful of playing for Team USA? Coach Krzyzewski and Jerry Colangelo have done an amazing job at building the USA men’s national basketball program back to world dominance and making NBA stars care about representing their country. However, this injury could make other high profile players balk at participating, even for Coach Krzyzewski, due to the seriousness of the injury and the fact that their livelihoods and careers may be at stake.
George’s injury reminds us all that you cannot take anything for granted in life or in the game of basketball.
As I tell my players, appreciate this opportunity that has been given to you and #SEIZE32 the day.
Follow Bert DeSalvo on Twitter @CoachDeSalvo