Yesterday, basketball fans from all over the world we’re watching the Blue vs White exhibition game of the United States’ basketball team that will compete in the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup in Spain. The game which was played at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas featured players who look to earn a slot to represent their country as the US defends it’s title in August. The game had it’s highlights. Derrick Rose who missed majority of the previous NBA season showing his explosiveness that basketball fans missed during his time on the shelf. Damian Lillard lobbing up a 70 foot buzzer beater. As well as many more highlights.
But, in one instant what was supposed to be a showcase turned into a nightmare. There are videos and photos of the incident scattered around the internet. However, due to the graphic nature of the injury. It will not be shown in this entry.
James Harden was running for a fast break attempt, behind him was Paul George who was looking to make the defensive play. Disaster strikes when George after he tried to block Harden’s attempt landed on the hoop stanchions causing his right foot bend like a pretzel. In a similar fashion to Anderson Silva’s kick during his second battle with Chris Weidman to cap off 2013 in UFC. Immediately, the Thomas & Mack Center went silent. The players, coaches and fans were in disbelief. Tears ran down among those who witnessed the terrible injury. Harden was down to his knees, Kyrie Irving was crying on his father’s shoulders, Derrick Rose had thoughts on what he went through in recent years. The game was eventually called off, George was escorted to hospital on a stretcher. Both squads huddled up in arms for George.
Immediately after the injury, which caused a stream on social media as people remember similar freak injuries that have happened in recent years. From Anderson Silva to Kevin Ware’s Elite Eight injury last season to Shaun Livingston’s injury from years ago. Fellow NBA players, athletes, coaches, team executives and fans from all over the world sent their thoughts and prayers to George for a speedy recovery immediately after the news broke out. George underwent successful surgery but would “likely miss” the entire 2014-15 NBA season.
The injury also gave a deep hole not only to the NBA and the USA basketball program, but also to international basketball as a whole. It was 22 years ago, the USA basketball program allowed NBA players to play for their country in the 1992 Barcelona Olympics after competing with players from the collegiate level. Since the famed “Dream Team”, the USA has won gold in 6 of the last 7 Summer Olympics and 2 FIBA Basketball World Cup tournaments (1994 and 2010). In turn, it allowed other countries to catch up with the sports. Notable examples were Spain, Argentina, France and Brazil who have NBA players play for their respective countries. With Argentina winning gold in the 2004 Athens Olympics, and Spain winning the 2006 FIBA World Championship and finishing silver in the last two Summer Olympics.
Only time will tell if whether or not the NBA will continue to send their players to international competition or will this be the end of an era in international basketball. But early into this story, it can be said that international basketball will never ever be the same again. We’ll be on watch on what will happen next.
On a personal note, this has been sad. Especially for a guy like me who loves the sport and plays it on a casual level. Some people may call people like me who pay attention to this more than anything else happening in the world “you care less for other things”. It’s true there are other things worth paying attention to than this. But, this means something to me on a personal level. So if you have friends or family members who feel the same way that I do, please do bear with them. Nobody wants to see a terrible injury like this in any sport.
So for Paul George who happens to be one of my favorite NBA players not in a red and white Rockets uniform. I wish you a speedy recovery. Hope you can come back better than ever. We hope to see you again on the hard court. This ain’t the end for you. It’s only the beginning.
Photo © Basketball Forever
On March 31, 2013 (April 1 Manila time), in the Elite Eight matchup in the 2013 NCAA Division I Men‘s Basketball Tournament between the Louisville Cardinals and the Duke Blue Devils at the Lucas Oil Stadiumin Indianapolis, Indiana. We were all witness to one of the most gruesome and horrible injury that we have seen in sports.
With the Cards up 21-20 on the Blue Devilsin the 1st half. Duke’s Tyler Thornton fired a three pointer, Louisville’s Kevin Ware came up for the block attempt, he came up short with his block attempt, but as he landed, he landed bad on the floor, as it turned out his foot snapped and the bone came out of the skin. It happened in front of the Louisville bench. As his teammates looked on, they were horrified to see what happened with Ware. Even Louisville head coach Rick Pitino shed tears with what happened to his player. The injury sent the entire Lucas Oil Stadium in disbelief and silence. Even the players and fans from Duke where shocked with what happened with him. The injury Ware suffered is most likely to happen to people who took hard falls on the cliff or went through a vehicular accident. No one had thought that it would happen on a basketball game. The medical team immidiately covered the injury with the towel for people not to see it. Then, Ware before he was carried off the floor to the hospital. Ware asked to talk to his team and said “Don’t worry about me. I’ll be okay, you guys go win this thing.” Afterwards, he was carried off the floor to the chants of the Cardinals faithful of “Kevin”. Eventually, the Cardinals responded to the call of their fallen hero as Louisville defeated Duke to claim the Midwest Regional Championship 83-65. As the Louisville players paid respect to their fallen teammate in front of the Cardinals faithful at the Lucas Oil Stadium.
Immidiately after the game, videos and photos of his injury came out on the internet, sending people who are basketball fans (including myself) as well as those who were not into the game into disbelief. They also sent their best wishes to Ware on social media through Twitter on his own Twitter account and Facebook. From NBA players to basketball fans all over the world, they wished the sophomore all the best. He also became an inspiration to fans all over the world, as he was called a “true warrior” for staying strong throughout the experience. Here’s a photo that came out after the injury asking fans to “Pray for Ware”.
Ware was sent to a nearby hospital in Indianapolis where he went for a successful two-hour surgery on his right foot. Ware is optimistic that he’ll be back playing once he gets through with his rehabilitation which will take a full year. Now, he’ll be with his team in the Final Four in his own hometown of Atlanta as he’ll look to be an inspiration for the Cardinals’ run to the National Championship. They will face the West Regional Champions #9 Wichita State Shockers in the Final Four on April 6 (April 7 Manila time) where the winner will face the winner between the East Regional Champions #4 Syracuse Orange and the South Regional Champions #4 Michigan Wolverines in the National Championship Game on April 8 (April 9 Manila time).
The injury was a horrible sight for me from both the video and photo of his injury which I will not add into this blog entry for it contains graphic content and is disturbing for readers. That injury also made me contemplate about playing basketball. As with any sport though, there is always a risk to deal with playing these games. Despite that, I’ll continue playing basketball for fun as well as time to bond with the people around me and improve on my personal health.
Also, I don’t like the fact people had been blaming the injury on the Adidas shoe he wore (The Louisville Cardinals are sponsored by Adidas), sure there had been notable players who got hurt on Adidas shoes, Chicago Bulls star Derrick Rose, Washington Redskins star Robert Griffin III to name some, but I say it’s not on the shoes they wear on their injuries. I’m sure Nike fanatics will take Ware’s injury to show off their dominance on Adidas.
For now, we wait if the Cardinals can win the National Championship this year (I’m a fan of the Blue Devils but I now believe the Cards have a reason to win the championship.) and whether or not Kevin Ware will get through rehabilitation well and be a part of the Cards’ run next year.
“Don’t worry about me. I’ll be okay, you guys go win this thing.” – Kevin Ware
Pray for Ware.
Derrick Rose helped down the court. Rose suffered from a torn ACL on his left knee and will be gone for the remainder of the playoffs.
The 2012 NBA Playoffs have begun. Let’s get it on.
The best team in the NBA for the 2nd consecutive season, the Chicago Bulls made their opening statement with a win over the Philadelphia 76ers in Game 1 of their best of 7 first round match-up at the United Center 103-91. However, the Bulls suffer a devastating blow to their playoff run as their hometown star Derrick Rose suffered a torn ACL on his left knee with 1:15 remaining in the 4th quarter and will be out for the remainder of the playoffs. The Bulls will miss his services, however the Bulls have proven this season they can win without Rose as they went 18-9 in the 27 games he missed in the regular season, and will this development help the 76ers in their first round matchup? That we will find out as the series progresses.
Rose led the Bulls in Game 1 with a near triple-double 23 points, 9 rebounds and 9 assists. Rip Hamilton scored 19 points on 6-7 from the field. Luol Deng added 17 points and 6 rebounds. Joakim Noah finished with a double-double 12 points and 13 rebounds with 2 blocks. Kyle Korver scored 11 off the bench. Carlos Boozer added 9 points and 7 rebounds.
Elton Brand led the 76ers with 19 points, 7 rebounds and 4 blocks. Jrue Holiday added 16 points and 7 rebounds. Thaddeus Young added 13 points, 4 rebounds and 2 steals off the bench. Chicago-native Evan Turner who was jeered every time he touched the ball added 12 points, 5 assists and 3 steals. Andre Iguodala added 11 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists.
In Miami, the Miami Heat take Game 1 of their best of 7 first round match-up over the New York Knicks in a 33 point blowout at the American Airlines Arena 100-67. LeBron James led the Heat in Game 1 with 32 points, 4 rebounds and 4 steals. Dwayne Wade scored 19. Mario Chalmers added 11 points, 9 assists and 3 steals. Chris Bosh and Mike Miller each scored 9 points. J.R. Smith off the bench led the Knicks with 17 points, 4 rebounds and 2 steals. Carmelo Anthony finished with a double-double 11 points and 10 rebounds. Tyson Chandler scored 10. The Knicks lose rookie guard Iman Shumpert.
In Indianapolis, the Orlando Magic pull off a stunner over the Indiana Pacers in Game 1 of their best of 7 first round match-up at Bankers Life Fieldhouse 81-77. Jameer Nelson and Jason Richardson led the Magic in Game 1 with both scoring 17 points. Nelson also added 9 assists. Richardson added 5 rebounds and 2 steals. Glen Davis finished with a double-double 16 points and 13 rebounds with 3 blocks. Hedo Turkoglu scored 9. David West led the Pacers with 19 points and 9 rebounds. Danny Granger added 17 points and 8 rebounds. George Hill scored 11. Roy Hibbert pulled down 13 rebounds with 8 points and 9 blocks. Paul George also scored 8.
In Oklahoma City, in a early rematch of last year’s Western Conference Finals, a case of déjà vu happened as Kevin Durant nails the game winner with 1.5 seconds left in the game as the Oklahoma City Thunder take Game 1 of their best of 7 series against the defending champion Dallas Mavericks at the Chesapeake Energy Arena 99-98. Durant finished with 25 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists and 4 blocks. Russell Westbrook led the Thunder in Game 1 with 28 points, 5 assists and 3 steals. Serge Ibaka added 22 points, 6 rebounds and 5 blocks. James Harden coming off the concussion he suffered from Metta World Peace scored 19 off the bench. Dirk Nowiztki led the Mavericks 25 points and 5 rebounds. Jason Terry off the bench added 20 points and 5 assists. Shawn Marion added 17 points and 8 rebounds. Vince Carter added 13 points and 7 rebounds.
2012 NBA Playoffs Bracket (as of 12:36 PHT)
#1 Spurs vs #8 Jazz (Series tied 0-0)
Game 1: April 30, 1:00 am PHT on NBA Premium TV
#4 Grizzlies vs # 5 Clippers (Series tied 0-0)
Game 1: April 30, 9:30 am PHT on Basketball TV
#3 Lakers vs #6 Nuggets (Series tied 0-0)
Game 1: April 30, 3:30 am PHT on NBA Premium TV
#2 Thunder vs #7 Mavericks (Thunder lead series 1-0)
Game 2: May 1, 9:30 am PHT on NBA Premium TV
#1 Bulls vs # 8 76ers (Bulls lead series 1-0)
Game 2: May 2, 8:00 am PHT on NBA Premium TV
#4 Celtics vs #5 Hawks (Series tied 0-0)
Game 1: April 30, 7:00 am PHT on Studio 23
#3 Pacers vs #6 Magic (Magic lead series 1-0)
Game 2: May 1, 7:30 am PHT on Basketball TV and NBA Premium TV
#2 Heat vs #7 Knicks (Heat lead series 1-0)
Game 2: May 1, 7:00 am PHT on NBA Premium TV