Should the NBA's best players risk injury for an international competition?
It didn't take long for that question to be asked after Pacers swingman Paul George suffered a gruesome open tibia-fibula fracture in the U.S. national team's intrasquad scrimmage last Friday. The possibility of catastrophic injury is already why so many NBA stars don't play for their countries.
On Sunday commissioner Adam Silver issued a statement that read, in part, "I don't anticipate a major shift in the NBA's participation in major international competitions," and also noted, "Injuries can happen anyplace at any time."
Silver is right. NBA players play, not just for a living but also for fun. There is no way to eliminate the risk of injury, which is part of what makes representing one's country so meaningful.
George made a great sacrifice by playing for Team USA. Now he's earned at least one benefit: He has an entire country rooting for him.
ETHAN MILLER/GETTY IMAGES (GEORGE)