It’s not something they often talk about, but professional athletes — NBA, NFL, Barclays Premier League, NHL, MLB, and so on — all know that every time they lace it up they could suffer a catastrophic injury. It’s part of the risk of sport. They block it out of their minds because they couldn’t play all out if they did, but they know it could happen.
And when it does happen to someone else they are shaken, but they move on.
That’s what happened with Paul George and Team USA — every other member of the squad was shaken, but nobody is dropping out. Marc Stein and Brian Windhorst of ESPN have the details in a report.
Although there is undoubtedly heightened concern within the group after watching George suffer a horrendous compound leg fracture late in Friday night’s intrasquad scrimmage, sources told ESPN.com that various Team USA players have talked among themselves about the need to stay together, with showing support for George ranking as one of their primary motivations.
“No one is pulling out,” one source told ESPN.com this past weekend.
Added one general manager who has a player on the Team USA squad: “No one on this team wants to walk away because that would seem unfair to Paul. If there is any fallout from this injury, it may not be felt until the next time invites [for Team USA] go out.”
The next time is the more interesting question. Although, if Team USA wins the World Cup this summer (it will be them or Spain, a good team playing at home) the next time they have to form a squad would be for the 2016 Rio Olympics. A gold medal can be a big part of a legacy and for guys trying to promote their personal brand (and shoes) that is a huge international platform. As we discussed before, the Olympics may not see much attrition.
But the next World Cup or some event after that… then it gets interesting.
For now, the USA will miss George’s defense and scoring, but the USA is ridiculously deep at the guard spot and on the wing. The players will move on.
The Pistons will start Reggie Jackson at point guard, and they signed Ish Smith to provide better backup at the position.
The competition for the third point guard spot is heating up.
With Lorenzo Brown and Ray McCallum already signed to unguaranteed deals, Detroit is adding undrafted Old Dominion guard Trey Freeman.
Michael Scotto of Sheridan Hoops:
The Pistons have just 14 players – one shy of the regular-season roster limit – with guaranteed salaries. The final spot will very likely go to a point guard.
Brown and McCallum should be favored in the competition, because they’re more NBA-ready. A president/coach, Stan Van Gundy is more prone to covet the player who can step in immediately.
Freeman’s partial guarantee is likely designed to entice him to play in the D-League for a low base salary. The Pistons can waive him in the preseason and then assign his D-League rights to their affiliate, though he’d become an NBA free agent.
Freeman is working to become a better distributor after playing as a go-to scorer in college. A solid mid-range shooter, he must extend his range beyond the arc. It’d also help if he got to the rim more, and it seems he has the bounce to do that.
For an undrafted player, he has nice tools. They’ll probably just need to be refined in the D-League.
But even if that’s the intention, Freeman at least gives himself a chance first of upsetting Brown and McCallum in the race for third point guard.
With 32 wins and missing the playoffs, last season wasn’t exactly what the Knicks hoped for. However, last season also came with hope in the form of Kristaps Porzingis.
And there were highlights. Check out the team’s Top 10 plays, courtesy NBA.com.
It starts with some Derrick Williams moments, and ends with a Jose Calderon game winner, but there are moments from players the fans actually like in between.
At this point, there is zero chance Russell Westbrook‘s posts are a coincidence.
First. he posted a video of himself singing along to Lil Uzi Vert’s “Now I Do What I Want.”
Then came the shoe ad that was another little jab at now Warriors Kevin Durant.
Now comes Westbrook’s return to karaoke posts, this time singing Taylor Swift’s “We Are Never Getting Back Together” and Katy Perry’s “Wide Awake.”
Apparently, Westbrook and Durant are having one rough teenage breakup.
One of the great stories of last season was the return of Paul George to All-Star level form (then to watch him be crucial to the USA winning gold this summer).
It was a great story because vintage Paul George was so great. Watch this throwback video of him blowing by LeBron James and dunking over Chris Andersen from a few years back — this is vicious.
By the way, if you’re not following NBA history on Twitter and Instagram, you’re doing it wrong.