USA’s FIBA World Cup campaign was dealt devestating blow in the early hours of this morning as another of its key players was sidelined. The nature of the injury though was certainly difficult to watch.

PAUL GEORGE BREAKS LEG; OUT OF WORLD CUP

USA’s Paul George is out of the World Cup with a suspected broken leg. And the USA’s plans for Spain are, out of respect for the fallen Indiana Pacer, on hold.

The incident occured during the USA intersquad scrimmage in Las Vegas. They stopped the game soon after. It was understandable, the mood changed to worry and the mind was fixed on George’s condition.

George’s leg landed and then buckled at the base of the basket stanchion after he fouled James Harden on a drive to the basket just 27 seconds into the fourth quarter. When Harden saw what had happened, he immediately looked away in horror.

Via ESPN:

Medics, U.S. coach Mike Krzyzewski and members of George’s family who were at the game rushed to his side.

His right leg was put in an air cast, and he was taken to a Las Vegas hospital after being treated for about 15 minutes on the court. His family members accompanied him there.

[…]

USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo wouldn’t speculate on the severity of the injury.

“We don’t know,” he said. “Everyone saw what we saw. That’s for the medical team to see.”

Anyway you look at it though, the Americans are losing players fairly rapidly – like they did in before the London Olympics in 2012 – but will still be considered by many as favourites.

UPDATE: Twitter…

“Pacers guard Paul George had a “good surgery. No ancillary damage” but likely out for next season, a source told Yahoo Sports.

— Marc J. Spears”

MAGIC: LAKERS ARE STILL NUMBER ONE

Magic Johnson has told the LA Times that the Los Angeles Lakers are stronger than last season and are still the number team in LA.

Riiight.

Via LA Times:

“The team is better than what we had last season, because we have more guys who can do more things than just shoot three-pointers,” said Johnson. “If I don’t see another three-pointer from a Laker team, I’ll be happy.”
 
While Johnson still holds the title of vice president, he is no longer a Lakers owner or on the team’s payroll. Instead, the Hall of Famer is part owner of the Dodgers. “The Lakers are still the No. 1 team in the city,” said Johnson. “The Dodgers second. It’s always going to be like that until somebody wins some championships.” […] “It messes up my whole year when the Lakers are not successful,” he said.

KD TO LEAVE NIKE FOR UNDER ARMOUR?

Even though his focus his on winning the FIBA World Cup, reigning NBA MVP Kevin Durant might be leaving Nike, a sportswear giant that has supplied the Oklahoma City Thunder star with shoes, training gear … EVERYTHING.

Via SoleCollector:

This week, his Nike contract expires, and the word is that he’s looking to cash in big on his next deal.
According to ESPN’s Darren Rovell, one of Durant’s potential suitors is Under Armour, who operates out of Baltimore. Instead of just throwing a big money offer on the table, they’ll attempt to appeal to Durant’s emotional ties to the D.C. and Maryland area with their pitch.

Last year, Durant signed with Jay Z’s Roc Nation sports agency. The company has a recent history of securing big money deals for its clients. Last month, they landed Durant a lucrative endorsement deal with Sparkling Ice.
Nike will likely pony up the money necessary to hold on to Durant. With Kobe Bryant on his way out of the league and LeBron James heading into the tail end of his prime, securing the next biggest endorser and reigning MVP is a priority for the brand. 

Are they seriously saying that LeBron James is losing it?