Paul George was ruled out for Saturday’s game against the Boston Celtics at Bankers Life Fieldhouse due to a sore left ankle. The decision was announced about 70 minutes before tip-off. The injury occurred during Friday’s overtime loss at Philadelphia. “The ankle (swelled) up today,” Pacers head coach Nate McMillan said an hour and 45 minutes before the game, and before it was announced that George would not play.
“Ninety percent of the whole rehab is mental,” George told USA TODAY Sports. “You’re doing the same stuff, day after day, that gets tiring. It’s tedious work rehabbing. That was really the whole battle was how do I keep motivation.”
Scott Agness: As expected, Paul George (left calf strain) is sitting out while the team practices its sets. "50-50" for game Fri. https://t.co/7K9NuZpEDS
Kyrie Irving, however, had the most unrestrained, emotional reaction to George’s leg snapping, an incident that no one in the arena could fully comprehend. Unable to watch, Irving buried his head in the chest of his father, Drederick, and began to cry uncontrollably. “I don’t think I really understood the magnitude of it, what transpired. I’m thinking, like, when is he going to be back?” Irving recalled this week as the U.S. men’s Olympic basketball team held training camp for the Rio Games. “In that moment, I don’t know the injury. I don’t know what happened. I knew it was pretty gruesome.”
“It feels like, what can you do?” Krzyzewski said of that moment, but the words eventually came. ” ‘We want you in 2016.’ Jerry and I both said that, ‘We know you’re going to recover.’ We didn’t know if he would.”
Colangelo said the incentivized gesture USA Basketball extended in the aftermath of George’s injury was the “right thing to do,” but George also rewarded that blind faith, making easy the decision to add him to the 12-man roster. “I’m here for a reason,” George told The Vertical. “I’m not just a guy that Coach K brought along.”
No such store existed. If George were going to return, he would have to work his way back. Which he has, after two years, a season-and-a-sliver with the Pacers and a whole lot of changes for him and his team. And this week, a media gauntlet reminding him constantly, in their grasp for perspective and an angle, of the shock, fear, pain, uncertainty and work it took to finally get back. "I'm telling reporters I'm done answering that one," George said.
"We're not forced to play for our country. We do it because we want to," George said, "I think that's the story that's not being told. We want to represent our country, same way guys in the military, in the Navy, in the Army. They're not forced to be in it. They do it because they want to defend their country. So it's hard to say -- injuries, death for what they do -- it's part of it, unfortunately."
August 4, 2021 | 7:30 pm EDT Update
Adrian Wojnarowski: Restricted free agent guard Saben Lee is returning to the Detroit Pistons on a three-year deal, source tells ESPN.
The state Department of Health Services reported that 491 people with confirmed or probable cases said they had attended the Deer District or Bucks game “during their exposure or infectious periods” but the department could not say definitively that they caught the virus while viewing the game downtown or elsewhere. The department also said the figure was likely an undercount. “We anticipated an increase in positive cases due to the delta variant but 155% increase in one week is distressing,”Milwaukee Health Commissioner Kirsten Johnson said.
August 4, 2021 | 7:25 pm EDT Update
Sources tell cleveland.com, along with their well-documented hunt for a shooting wing, including recent discussions about a sign-and-trade for restricted free agent swingman Josh Hart, the Cavs are currently exploring the free agent point guard market in hopes of adding a third guard to play behind starter Darius Garland and backup Rubio. The Cavs have looked into the possibility of Raul Neto and Brad Wanamaker, sources say.
Fred Katz: One thing worth noting: The Wizards are far too close to the luxury tax after making the Dinwiddie trade to use the midlevel exception now. They can try another trade to get under it. They still have roster imbalace they may want to fix. But they may have to do it in other ways.
Fred Katz: The Wizards have annouced their summer league roster, which includes Corey Kispert, Caleb Homesley, Isaiah Todd, Cassius Winston and blast-from-the-past Issuf Sanon. Deni Avdija, who is recovering from a fibula fracture, is not on the roster.