Paul George, who broke his leg a week ago during a Team USA scrimmage, will be given a roster spot no matter what for the 2016 Olympics. Here's what Jerry Colangelo, the managing director of USA basketball, said Thursday:
"We've told him we have a spot for him in '16," Colangelo told NBA.com at festivities Thursday in advance of the Friday enshrinement of the Hall of Fame class.
"We thought it's the right thing to do," Colangelo said. "That's it…. We didn't give thought to all the detail. Just that when a guy goes down and all these things, the circumstances, his career passes before him, he's out for a year, a year-plus, he's not able to participate now with us — we wanted to throw that out and say, 'We're counting on you. You've got a spot in '16.' "
A George tribute is also in the works for the upcoming FIBA World Cup. USA Basketball wants to add a uniform patch in honor of George, but FIBA doesn't allow uniform alterations of that sort, so USA Basketball is considering pushing for a rule change to fully commemorate their injured player.
That's nice and all, but between all these gestures and that self-serious, faux-elegiac, black-and-white Nike ad and the griefier-than-thou mourning on Twitter, I'd say we're about a day or two from someone announcing a 21-gun salute from the deck of the Nimitz and the installation of an eternal flame outside the Bankers Life Fieldhouse.