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George promised spot on '16 Olympic team

Published On: Aug 08 2014 09:52:47 AM CDT
Updated On: Aug 08 2014 03:29:52 PM CDT
Paul George on stretcher, broken leg, Team USA scrimmage

Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo told NBA.com Thursday that injured Indiana Pacers forward Paul George has been promised a spot on the 2016 Olympic team.

"We thought it's the right thing to do," Colangelo said. "That's it. ... We didn't give thought to all the detail. Just that when a guy goes down and all these things, the circumstances, his career passes before him, he's out for a year, a year-plus, he's not able to participate now with us. We wanted to throw that out and say, 'We're counting on you. You've got a spot in '16.' "

The 2016 games are in Rio de Janeiro.

George is expected to be sidelined at least a year after breaking his right leg during the U.S. team's intrasquad scrimmage a week ago in Las Vegas.

The team also plans a tribute for George at the FIBA World Cup in Spain later this month, but it is still in the planning stages.

USA Basketball wants to include a uniform patch with George's initials or jersey number, and write messages on their shoes, but FIBA rules prohibit altering uniforms. The team may propose changing the rules.

"As far as the players are concerned, this is a rallying point in terms of what happened to Paul," Colangelo said. "We just want to take some steps that are yet to be determined that we're talking about to bring attention to Paul George and what his contribution has been."