Team USA Basketball announced that it expects 34 players to show up at next week’s Las Vegas minicamp. The group is composed of pretty much the best basketball players in the world, from LeBron James and Kevin Durant to Klay Thompson and Kawhi Leonard. We mention mostly big scoring swingmen types here (instead of Blake Griffin and Anthony Davis, also attendees) because that’s what Paul George of the Indiana Pacers is: a big athletically gifted scoring swingman. George is also one of the players who, like Durant, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love, are expected to attend the camp but not participate as they recover from injuries.
Among the injured hoops troops, only the 25-year-old George sustained his injury while playing in a scrimmage for USA Basketball — a brutal freak injury that snapped his leg last year and ended his season. The fact that George still wants to be on the USA Basketball roster after what happened shows forbearance and courage. He wants to be eligible to play for his country in the Olympics in 2016 so, despite the injury, he’s there when it would be very understandable if he said he’d rather focus on rehab and his NBA career. Given the emphasis USA Basketball coach Mike Krzyweski puts on teamwork, attitude, loyalty and drive, that effort essentially guarantees Paul George a spot if he wants it. If he’s healthy, Paul George is the only player who Coach K. really can’t cut if he wants to be on the team.