While some NBA players have considered the matter, Paul George‘s gruesome leg injury suffered during a Team USA scrimmage in the summer of 2014 hasn’t necessarily impacted every player’s decision on playing in the FIBA World Cup next month, Marc Stein of the New York Times writes.
George, who was stretchered off the court after fracturing his tibia and fibula, was coming off a career season with averages of 21.7 points and 6.8 rebounds per contest at the time. Many wondered if George would ever be the same due to the injury, but he worked vigorously to get his body back to shape and eventually became an even better all-around player.
“I appreciate the guys who still come out here and do this, because a lot of people would say, ‘If something like that could happen, why would you come out here and risk it?’ But I was talking with Coach Malone and he said, ‘You guys are in the gym playing anyway.’ If you’re playing basketball, you’re playing basketball,” Nuggets center Mason Plumlee said, as relayed by Stein.
While Plumlee has opted to keep his name in team consideration for next month, several stars such as Damian Lillard, DeMar DeRozan, Kyle Lowry, Kevin Love and others have already withdrawn from competition to focus on the upcoming NBA season.
The 2019 FIBA World Cup begins on Saturday, Aug. 31, with Team USA scheduled to play its first game against the Czech Republic on Sunday, Sept. 1.
Here are some other odds and ends from around the basketball world tonight:
- Michael Beasley‘s five-game suspension for violating the NBA’s anti-drug policy stems from a failed drug test last fall, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link). Beasley failed the test around the same time his mom was dying of cancer, Charania notes.
- Seth Partnow of The Athletic examines why NBA teams aren’t hoarding first-round draft picks as frequently as they have in the past. Of the 30 first-round picks in June’s NBA draft, 11 of them changed teams either around or on the night of the event.
- Michael McCann of Sports Illustated explored how NBA power agent Rich Paul could build a case against the NCAA for changing its criteria for agents who wish to represent collegiate players. The NCAA is expected to enforce that certified agents have a bachelor’s degree, be certified by the NBPA for at least three years and pass an in-person exam at the organization’s headquarters, according to Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports.