Mike Krzyzewski ‘anxious’ for Paul George’s debut

Pacers swingman Paul George will play in an NBA game for the first time in 310 days Sunday night. His season debut comes just over eight months after he had surgery to repair a compound fracture in his right leg.

The injury occurred out in Las Vegas on August 1 when George was playing with USA Basketball. Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski, who is the head man with USA Basketball, has coached his college team to the NCAA Title game. That’s Monday night a few blocks south west at Lucas Oil Stadium.

Coach K visited Paul George at Sunrise Hospital in Las Vegas after George’s surgery on Aug. 1.

George and Coach K built a great relationship through Team USA and his injury. In fact, Krzyzewski was one of the first to visit Paul in the hospital after surgery.

Earlier Sunday, he was asked about George’s return that day.

“Paul and I have developed a great friendship,” he said. “We correspond all the time. We did yesterday. Anxious about tonight. He’s handled everything magnificently. Certainly we hope that he has a complete comeback and helps the Pacers in their playoff hunt.

In the midst of his preparations for Championship Monday and the various obligations, Krzyzewski made the effort to swing  through Bankers Life Fieldhouse to visit with George before tip-off.

“It meant everything,” George said after the game, a 112-89 Pacers win.

“I have the upmost respect for Coach K. I’m really happy for his success right now. It’s almost been like I’ve played for him my whole life. That’s the relationship I have with him, one of the best human beings in the world. It was great to see him before this game tonight.”

Coach K also added that he looks forward to working again with George at Team USA camp this summer.

“We’re anxious also to have him come out when we meet this summer in mid August. It’s not a training camp, but we’ll have three days where we bring all the guys who might be on the Olympic team in Las Vegas. Certainly Paul will be part of that group. Really happy. Also want to thank the Pacer organization of how supportive they’ve been of USA Basketball in this regard. Really good people.”

[Krzyzewski’s comments via ASAP Sports.]

One Response to Mike Krzyzewski ‘anxious’ for Paul George’s debut
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