Paul George is not going to return to the Indiana Pacers this season. The two-time All-Star broke his right leg during a shoe-selling Team USA exhibition last August, the Pacers applied for and received an injured player exception soon after. Despite some initial encouraging signs the time frame just isn’t right for him to come back to a Pacer team that is currently 10 games out of .500 and a game and a half out of a playoff bracket that Indiana’s front office probably don’t want to leap into.
Yet, in the cold of the Midwestern winter, there is this to behold:
Yes, that’s Paul George, some five months after his awful accident, dunking a basketball. George is 6-9, and blessed with superior hops to pair with his long arms, but one shouldn’t slough this off. This is still significant.
Even if George is at one hundred percent health to start 2015-16, it was still assumed that he’ll eventually need months to return to form during that term – and many think he’ll never regain the athletic attributes that made him so formidable in the past, as sadly has been the case with journeyman guard Shaun Livingston. Livingston is as respected as they come in NBA circles, but a 2007 injury along the lines of George’s wiped out many of the devastating athletic abilities that made him such an intriguing player to watch.
A dunk at practice isn’t just “normal basketball activity,” it ranks as activity that not many basketball players can do. Paul George may not be returning in 2014-15, but for him to be throwing down at the midpoint of a season he was slated to entirely miss out on is more than encouraging. To say the absolute least.
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