McMillan gave no indication Saturday that George’s injuries would force him to miss a significant amount of time. George is hopeful he will be in uniform Monday when the Pacers face the Orlando Magic. “It’s a day-to-day thing,” George said. “It’s just a little soreness. I hoping tomorrow that it feels a lot better.”
George, who leads the Pacers with 21.9 points per game, watched Saturday’s game from the bench in a dark gray suit jacket. “I really couldn’t move off of (my left ankle), I couldn’t turn my ankle, I couldn’t cut if I wanted to,” George said. “I had a hard time walking this morning. I knew I probably wasn’t going to be able to go tonight, but I gave it a shot.”
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 | 6:09 pm EDT Update
Shams Charania: The Wizards are sending Chandler Hutchison and a second-round pick to San Antonio, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Washington is sending Chandler Hutchinson and a 2022 second-round pick to San Antonio as part of a multi-team deal in the Spencer Dinwiddie sign-and-trade, sources tell ESPN. Brooklyn gets a 2024 second and a 2025 pick swap from Wizards.
August 4, 2021 | 6:02 pm EDT Update
Shams Charania: Free agent Spencer Dinwiddie is headed to the Washington Wizards on a three-year, $62 million contract via sign-and-trade, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium.