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The USA basketball team will wear a patch on their jersey in honor of Paul George, who suffered a gruesome leg injury during a scrimmage nearly two weeks ago.
According to Mark J. Spears of Yahoo!, Team USA is not allowed to wear the patch during the upcoming FIBA World Cup, but will have it on during their exhibitions leading up to the tournament.
— Marc J. Spears (@SpearsNBAYahoo) August 14, 2014
In all fairness, the decision to wear a patch in honor of an injured teammate, who most of the players on Team USA have never been on the same team with before, is a bit much. While George’s injury is quite severe, as he is expected to miss the entire upcoming NBA season, an honorary patch is usually reserved for a player who has passed away and made a substantial impact on the organization he played for. George never competed with the national team before showing up to USA training camp this summer, so the team going to such lengths to remember him is a bit odd.
The tribute to George is similar to when Brazil soccer star Neymar was injured during their World Cup quarterfinals match, and his teammate holding his jersey while the national anthem played before their semifinal match. Soccer analysts found that to be a bit over the top, and Neymar was the pride and joy of the entire nation of Brazil. AZcentral brings up the point that if George had been injured during a closed-door practice, instead of a nationally televised scrimmage, it would be unlikely that Team USA would go out of their way to make sure they haven’t forgotten about George.
It would be one thing if the Pacers decided to do something to pay tribute to George, as he is their best player and competed with the team for four seasons. But for a team full of guys who have barely ever played with George - who still has a long career ahead of him - to feel the need to wear a patch in his honor seems unnecessary.
Image courtesy of INFphoto.com