Image of Paul George’s leg still on the mind; eventually he’ll be defined by his comeback

Posted: 08/04/2014 in basketball
Tags: , , , , ,

I’m finally starting to get the image of Paul George’s leg out of my mind.

Whenever we see an image of a leg twisting and contorting in the wrong direction, the stomach gets queasy and you can’t help but quickly look away.

It’s natural to want to unsee what the eyes just saw when that type of compound fracture occurs. It is simply a very gruesome sight to see a leg break apart like a twig.

At least this time the devastating injury occurred away from the spotlight – yes, I know the USA Basketball exhibition was televised by ESPN – and wasn’t being watched by millions like the 2013 Final Four in which former Louisville player Kevin Ware suffered a similar leg injury.

Or if you’re a bit older – at least it wasn’t live on Monday Night Football like the night in 1985 when Joe Theismann’s leg snapped in half while being tackled by Lawrence Taylor.

George is one of the NBA’s rising stars and was the prime reason why the Indiana Pacers were being viewed as the favorites in the Eastern Conference now that LeBron James left the Miami Heat to return to the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The 24-year-old George is set to begin a five-year contract worth more than $90 million so he at least secured his financial future before having this setback. He will make nearly $16 million while sitting out the 2014-15 campaign.

That doesn’t make his recovery any less challenging, of course. But also think of this:

Do you know somebody who is dealing with a tough situation? One that is frustrating and maddening and hard to deal with?

I bet George would write a check for $45 million to trade situations with that person and have a healthy leg.

But since he can’t do that, I expect we will see George approach this situation with incredible passion.

Top-flight professional athletes like George don’t become All-Stars in their sports without having supreme mental toughness. Adversity like this becomes another challenge to overcome and surely George will undergo his rehab efforts with a fierce competitiveness and fully planning to regain his past stellar form.

And I don’t bet against athletes like that. There are so many examples of players who returned to form after a devastating injury so I see no reason why George wouldn’t do the same.

I just wish I could fully unsee that visual of George’s leg.

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