Paul George defends Ray Rice, says Janay Palmer hit him first

Ray Rice RavensEveryone is entitled to their own opinion, but professional athletes should have enough common sense to know that if they have an opinion supporting Ray Rice it needs to be kept quiet. Indiana Pacers star Paul George didn’t seem too worried about that when he reminded his Twitter followers on Thursday that Janay Palmer hit Rice first.

While George made sure to specify that he doesn’t condone hitting a woman, he made it clear that he believes Rice should not be suspended indefinitely because, in George’s opinion, the former Baltimore Ravens running back was provoked.

Naturally, George has already deleted the tweets and issued an apology.

First of all, we have no idea what happened leading up to the elevator incident. You can’t conclude that Palmer attacked Rice from the footage that has been shown, because we don’t know when the confrontation started. We do know that Rice spat on his now-wife twice before he punched her and rendered her unconscious.

But let’s say Palmer did attack Rice. Does what he did constitute defending yourself? Of course not. He’s an NFL player. He could have easily restrained Palmer without clubbing her in the head. George certainly isn’t the only person who feels Rice was provoked, but he should have kept his opinion to himself.

Team USA wears shooting shirts to honor Paul George

paul-george-stretcher-smallPaul George was unable to participate in Saturday’s exhibition game between Team USA and Brazil, but he was still prominently featured.

When Anthony Davis, James Harden, Stephen Curry, Kyrie Irving, and company took the floor at United Center in Chicago, they did so wearing special shooting shirts which honored their injured teammate.

The shirts displayed the phrase “United We Stand” and George’s initials.

During the broadcast, ESPN’s Mark Jones and Fran Fraschilla interviewed George via telephone. Among the topics of discussion was the two-time All-Star reiterating his desire to play for the 2016 Olympic team.

Paul George on leg injury: It felt like gasoline was on my leg and someone lit a match

Paul George met with the media on Friday for the first time since breaking his leg during a USA Basketball scrimmage in Las Vegas two weeks ago.

The Indiana Pacers star said there was no timetable on his return and said USA Basketball should not be blamed for what he described as a “freak accident.” He also shared what it was like to go through the horrible experience. And, man, it sounded every bit as bad as it looked.

“When I looked down and saw my bone sticking out, I knew it was bad,” said George. “I’ve felt pain before. This was a pain I’ve never felt before. So I knew how bad this was.

“Just on fire. My leg felt like it was in flames.

“It was a quick five minutes, and then my body kind of went into shock. I was in pain for a good 5-10 minutes. It just felt like a burning sensation throughout my whole leg.”

What’s comforting is that George is maintaining a positive outlook despite the horrifying experience.

“I’m really taking this in a positive way. I can sit back and watch the game and just learn,” George says of his upcoming year off.

George has also been busy giving back to his hometown. He is switching jersey numbers from 24 to 13 and donated all the old jerseys to his high school in Palmdale. With his attitude, we can definitely expect him to be in top shape when he returns. He definitely has the mental part down.

Paul George stretcher

Paul George buys and donates No. 24 merchandise to his old high school


Unfortunately, it will be a while before we see Paul George in an Indiana Pacers uniform. When he returns, we will have to get used to seeing George in a different uniform number than the No. 24 we have become accustomed to seeing him wear.

George will be switching to No. 13, giving us the opportunity to refer to him as PG-13.

Before the new jerseys can be made for sale, there is the small matter of the remaining old jerseys being purchased from Adidas. Consider that done. George acquired the last of the merchandise and found several fans happy to accept them.

The recipients are students and staff at his former high school, Knight High School in Palmdale, California.

As you can imagine, several photos were taken by those who are now in possession of Paul George items. Luckily for us, George shared several of them.

Photo: Twitter/Paul_George24
H/T Bleacher Report

Paul George changing jersey numbers to become PG-13

Paul George PacersBefore going down with his broken leg in a USA Basketball scrimmage, Paul George was making plans to re-shape his branding.

ESPN reports that George applied for the right and was granted approval to change his jersey number from 24 to 13. George, who is from the outskirts of Los Angeles, wore 24 because of Kobe Bryant. Changing his jersey number to 13 would make for a simple and fun nickname — PG-13.

Bill Simmons suggested the nickname for George back in a Grantland column in May 2013.

By the way, I have some advice that will help Paul George become a household name. He should change his number immediately from no. 24 to no. 13. Here’s why … can you think of anyone being helped by a nickname more than Paul George suddenly becoming “PG-13?” Uh-oh, PG-13 is heating up! Warning, this game contains strong language, violence and a possible heat check! We might have to make this performance rated “R” — it’s too hot to handle! Let’s make this happen already.

George was on Jimmy Kimmel in January and had this to say when asked about the nickname.

“That’s not bad. That’s got a ring to it, PG-13.”

Since then, George has dropped hints on Twitter about switching to the nickname. He’s used “trece” several times on Twitter, which means thirteen in Spanish.

PG-13 — that is some excellent branding. The only problem is that George broke his leg since planning the number change, which won’t exactly help 13’s reputation for being a bad-luck number.

Paul George injury has NBA execs wanting to pull their players

Paul George stretcher

Paul George’s freak injury that resulted in a compound fracture of both his right tibia and fibia may have some serious consequences for USA Basketball.

After watching George go down and the Indiana Pacers’ season end before it begins, NBA executives started to panic and fear that the same could happen to their stars. As a result, they may want to pull their players from USA Basketball.

Here’s what Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski tweeted after the injury:

SI’s Chris Mannix tweeted the same thing:

We went through this same debate when the World Baseball Classic began, and we go through it every time an NHL player gets hurt during international competition.

I understand the fears of the GMs and owners, but they need to let go. Our best players should be representing us in international play. Freak injuries can occur at any time. How many players hurt themselves while practicing or working out or even in pickup games? Injuries happen. Don’t ruin our chances at winning gold medals because of one sucky injury.

Paul George suffers broken leg (Video)

Paul George suffered a broken leg during the USA Basketball scrimmage in Las Vegas on Friday, and there’s no way around it — it was ugly.

George went up to try blocking a fastbreak layup attempt by James Harden in the fourth quarter and his leg landed awkwardly against the backstop.

George’s leg bent like a cartoon and snapped. He was treated immediately and a stretcher was brought out for him.

Paul George stretcher

The video is so ugly we have placed it below.

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