"Nah, not right now," George responded with angst when asked if he would be willing to re-watch video of his injury on camera for Part One of Bleacher Report's docuseries on his Road Back, "I'll do it another time, not right now."
Refusing to let the ghosts of his past haunt him, Paul George, though unwilling to publicly look those moments in the eye that at least momentarily stunted the trajectory of his career, will indeed return to the site of his injury when he rejoins Team USA in Las Vegas for a four-day mini-camp to be held in August.
"I'm in," George confirmed in this story published by NBA.com's John Schumann. "Of course."
"The day it happened," George added, referencing his injury, "right after, I told them I looked forward to continuing on with USA basketball."
Having previously been involved with USA basketball as a member of the 2012 Select Team (which prepared the National Team for the 2012 Olympics), a participant at the 2013 USA Basketball National Team Minicamp and as part of the 28-player pool by which the final roster for the 2014 World Cup team was selected, this will be the fourth consecutive summer that George has spent a portion of his off-season with the Men's National Team.
While George's belief in the transformative powers of summer basketball remains seemingly unchanged, the Thomas & Mack Center on the campus of UNLV -- where the two-time All-Star's leg snapped in two -- will look a little different when the All-NBA defender returns this August.
Measured at 3 feet 11 inches behind the baseline, George's available landing space near the stanchion at the Thomas & Mack Center was less than the NBA standard (4 feet) and considerably smaller than what Vigilant Sports' Scott Agness previously reported is implemented at Banker's Life Fieldhouse (5 feet 5 inches).
Not unlike the NBA's move to make baselines safer, Paul George crashing into a basket stanchion and suffering an open tibia-fibula fracture may not have instigated the changes at UNLV, but his injury and the national media attention it garnered no doubt expedited it. While the changes made at NBA arenas and at the Thomas & Mack Center will hopefully work to prevent future injuries, the after-the-fact remedies for clear threats to player danger did not make George's leg heal any faster -- the effects of which the Pacers' star has dealt with daily since August 1.
"Paul George has played well in practice," a source told Yahoo. "but still has not regained his All-Star form and walks with a noticeable limp."
Though the two-time All-Star's ability to return to the court this season remains in question, Paul George's decision to return to USA Basketball and make peace with his nightmare only further underscores his resilience and reinforces why, whether he returns now or later, he will likely come back better.