Rick Bonnell: OKC’s Paul George (calf) questionable to play tonight vs. @Charlotte Hornets. Missed last 2 Thunder games.
Erik Horne: Paul George (right calf contusion) and Jerami Grant (left hip contusion) each listed as questionable for Saturday at Memphis, per Thunder.
Paul George will miss his first game as a member of the Oklahoma City Thunder when they face the Brooklyn Nets in Mexico City on Thursday night. George is dealing with a right calf bruise.
Nike designer Tony Hardman said there was a point where nobody at the brand knew if they’d be moving forward with a Paul George signature shoe or not. “You don't know if a guy is gonna come back from an injury like that,” Hardman told Sole Collector. “That's a crazy injury to try and come back from. So, even for me as a designer, it was almost like the resource was kinda put on hold for a little bit. We don't know what's gonna happen with Paul.”
“It wasn’t really on my mind whether I lost the shoe or if that dream was out the window or not,” George told Sole Collector. “During that time period I was more concerned that my job was at stake.” In retrospect, Hardman calls the injury a blessing in disguise in that it gave the design team more time to get to know George. It also pushed back the debut date of the Nike PG1 shoe, which was originally scheduled to release in 2016.
Nate Taylor: The Pacers have announced that Paul George (left ankle) & Kevin Seraphin (left knee) are out the next 3 games. Paul George & Kevin Seraphin will miss tonight's game, Sunday’s game against the Clippers & Wednesday’s game against the Trail Blazers.
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."
July 31, 2021 | 7:36 pm EDT Update
Shams Charania: Clippers F/C Serge Ibaka is exercising his $9.7 million player option for the 2021-22 season, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium.
Kelly Iko: The Houston Rockets have extended a qualifying offer to Armoni Brooks, sources tell @TheAthletic
Former Bluejays Mitch Ballock and Denzel Mahoney have joined Damien Jefferson in signing with NBA Summer League teams on Saturday. After both were not selected in Thursday’s NBA draft, Mahoney signed to play this summer with the Charlotte Hornets and Ballock with the Philadelphia 76ers.
July 31, 2021 | 6:10 pm EDT Update
Jordan Schultz: #Lakers are “very interested” in the prospect of signing Carmelo Anthony, per a league source. Melo has been linked to the Lakers as a possibility, given his friendship w/LeBron dating back to high school. Anthony drilled a career-best 40.9 percent from 3 last season w/Portland.
Will Guillory: The Pelicans have declined the team option on forward Didi Louzada, per league source. The 2019 2nd round pick played 3 games with the Pels last season after spending a couple years in Australia.