Yesterday, during the Team USA scrimmage, Paul George suffered one of the most gruesome injuries ever witnessed on live TV. George suffered a compound fracture of his tibia and fibula, effectively ending his season.
The outpouring of support from his fellow NBA players was massive, and according to the Indianapolis Star’s Candace Buckner, Kobe Bryant was one of many to reach out:
But I've heard that Kobe Bryant and other superstars have personally reached out to Paul George tonight. #NBAFamily
— Candace Buckner (@CandaceDBuckner) August 2, 2014
George is one of the NBA’s brightest young stars. George was named an All-Star and All-NBA third-team in each of the last two seasons, and was named to the NBA All-Defensive first-team this season while leading the Indiana Pacers to their second straight Eastern Conference Finals trip.
Growing up in Palmdale, George was always a huge fan of Kobe. George said Kobe was his all-time favorite player, and even spoke about wanting to follow in Kobe’s footsteps. Hearing from his childhood idol at this tough time had to raise George’s spirits.
The injury has brought up the conversation of NBA stars playing in international competition. For their part, Larry Bird and the Indiana Pacers are completely supportive of Team USA as was stated in a statement released by Bird via NBA.com:
We still support USA Basketball and believe in the NBA’s goals of exposing our game, our teams and players worldwide. This is an extremely unfortunate injury that occurred on a highly-visible stage, but could also have occurred anytime, anywhere.
It is always difficult to see great players go down to injury, especially young players. Thankfully George will have the support of the Pacers and the entire NBA family. Hopefully, that will help him with a speedy recovery.
Kobe Bryant’s message to Jeremy Lin