VIDEO: Paul George at 2016 USA Basketball Training Camp

Paul George and the rest of USA Basketball opened up Training Camp Monday in Las Vegas, gearing up for the 2016 Olympics in Rio.

Paul George vs Kevin Durant. (Photo: Nathaniel S. Butler/USAB)

Paul George vs Kevin Durant. (Photo: Nathaniel S. Butler/USAB)

For George it’s a dream come true. It’s about returning to form after a compound leg fracture cost him nearly all of the 2014-15 NBA season. Following a terrific bounce-back season, he committed to Coach K and Team USA as many other stars dropped out.

While out in Vegas, he’s answering a lot of questions about his health, what it means to be back, and more. As you’ll read below, he’s moved on from it and has one goal in mind: Return home with a gold medal.

Training camp concludes Thursday, and then they’ll face Argentina Friday evening in their first of five exhibition games. One stop will bring them just three hours away from Indianapolis — to Chicago, July 27-29. Next Friday at the United Central, they’ll play Venezuela at 9:00 pm ET.

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Comments from George, provided by USA Basketball:

On the meaning of returning to the court for the first time for the USA since the injury:
It means a lot. This is like redemption for myself. All the bad that happened that night and now I have this opportunity again to represent my country. It’s special.

On his two-year journey since the injury:
It was a bump in the road. But it’s part of the game. Injuries happen. A freak accident that will probably never happen again. I put myself in that position, it happened and now it’s about how I return. I’m very much appreciative of this moment.

I understand what Coach K wants from me but I also know what I need to add. We have so many guys that can do so many things. I pride myself as one of those guys. I feel like I am just adding on to the environment and DNA of this team.  Coach made it very clear of what he expects from me and I just need to be myself.

Was there ever any doubt in your mind that you wanted to be part of this again?
No, there was no doubt.   Winning the gold medal is a lot bigger than any other concerns.  It’s been a childhood dream so for myself, it’s just fulfilling it.

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Do you try to block out what happened in 2014 as far as the injury?
There is no thought on it.  It happened, it’s over with and I’m moving forward.   It’s another opportunity for me and I’m just happy to represent my country.

Was it say about the USAB infrastructure that so much talent is here on the Olympic and Select teams?
Coach K has really created something great here.  He’s created a winning environment … he’s created an environment to get better.  He’s the reason guys want to come here and get better.  It’s bigger than just coming here and playing basketball.   We’re actually learning from one another.  We’re creating a chemistry with one another.  Again, it’s bigger than what we are doing on the court.  A lot of this stuff really translates off the court as well.  It’s just a great environment to be in.

What was the decision to come back?
I did it for the inner Paul George, the kid Paul George who always dreamed of winning a gold medal.  I wasn’t worried about no injuries.  I wasn’t worried about getting back on the court and how would I fare out there.  It’s about fulfilling that childhood dream and representing that country.

How has your injury informed you on how to approach practice right now?
I’m going all out.   Injuries are part of the game.  It just sucks it was a freak accident but injuries are part of the game.  I can easily get injured during a practice with my team in Indiana.  It’s against being here.  It’s about getting better and it’s about playing alongside the best players in this league.

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