USA Basketball, Paul George, and Chandler Parsons
By Rami Michail
Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports
We had basketball back and the excitement was filling the air. Derrick Rose was back on the court and making plays, some of the best players in the world were making plays, and we even got to get a quick look at Chandler Parsons since inking his deal with the Dallas Mavericks.
But the excitement turned to silence and disbelief. One of the NBA’s best — Paul George — went down. I won’t share the details, image, or video of the injury, but it was bad. But just know, at that moment, basketball didn’t matter anymore.
I love basketball, I love watching it just as much as I love playing it. For team USA, I
wanted to see the best USA could offer. LeBron James, Kevin Love, Blake Griffin, Chris Paul, Kobe Bryant and others were already out but I was pleased with the current core. Shoot, I was hoping Parsons would make the final cut. Being around these great talents could only make him better, right? Now, I’m not so sure.
Honestly, I don’t know how to feel about this at all.
Mavs owner, Mark Cuban previously expressed his resent of the use of NBA player in the Olympics and you can read that here. Will he work to make sure Parsons doesn’t participate and make the cut?
He has a point, but you can argue that representing your country and playing for the love of the game is more than enough incentive to play.
The risk of injuries will always be there. Injuries are sadly part of the game, whether you’re practicing on your own, in a scrimmage, or in a game, the risk is always there. Personally, I’m thankful I’ve never really suffered or sustained anything more than a tweaked ankled and knee. And I’ve never witnessed someone getting severely injured mid game or practice, so I have no idea what was running through George’s NBA brothers during the incident.
But it was clear that no-one could believe it. The shaking of heads, the teary eyes, towels over the mouth, and so on, it was apparent that at that moment, it was no longer about basketball.
It will be interesting to see the next steps USA Basketball and these players take. Can you blame anyone for pulling out or for their respective teams to forbid them from playing? Would you blame anyone if they leave things as is?
You can make the case that the Pacers are the biggest loser. First they lose Lance Stephenson via free agency and now this.
Sadly at this moment of time, the Pacers and USA Basketball aren’t who we should be feeling down for. It’s Paul George, whom wanted to be there to represent his country.
A young and rising star’s career, not just season, is in jeopardy. But like he and many other believe, I also believe he back and better than ever.
If you’re a fan of him or not, send prayers and good vibes his way. It’s the least we can do.
We hear so many stories of talent going to waste because of bad mistakes. But this isn’t the case with George. It would be a shame to see this star’s potential be wasted for representing his country.
Finally, at this moment, who cares what USA decides and does with its roster.
The focus should be on Paul George.