VIDEO: Paul George Recounts The Moment He Broke His Leg


Paul George has been on a road to recovery ever since he broke both the bones in his lower leg during a Team USA scrimmage on August 1. Since I never finished med school, it is hard for me to know exactly how he is progressing, but one thing that has stood out is his public persona of positivity.

“The pain was tough. As soon as the air hit the bone and where the open wound was, it just shot through my whole body.” – Paul George

Paul George hasn’t taken a woe-is-me stance.

Instead, he has embraced his new challenge and worked to get back to the game — whether that is playing 1-on-1 with his dog, shooting stand-still jumpers, becoming a public relations intern, or cheering on his teammates in a suit.

Because this is all we’ve seen, it was hard to watch him talk about the actual injury itself in this new video from Bleacher Report. The outlet sat down with Paul and his family to talk about the day his career was put in jeopardy, and you can see the anguish and pain in George’s eyes as he describes the awful moment.

The video starts with the interviewer telling PG he has footage of the injury and asking the Pacers star if he would be willing to watch it on camera. George — thankfully — declines, but then proceeds to recount his memory of the moment his life changed.

“I’m like, ‘Why can’t I stand right now?'” says Paul George. “I look down to look at my legs and I saw my bone. The second I saw my bone, I just lost it. I just laid flat.”

It gets worse.

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“The pain was tough. As soon as the air hit the bone and where the open wound was, it just shot through my whole body. I tried to lift back up to take another look, but the OKC trainer rushed over and held me down — pinned me down — so I couldn’t lift back up. He told me, man, he said ‘You broke your leg. You’ll get through this, but it’s broke.’ That was a tough point right there.”

Maybe the hardest-to-watch moment of all, however, is when Paul George talks about the metal rod that was put into his leg. He says that the last thing the doctor told him before he had surgery was that they were inserting the rod with three screws to help the bones heal. The interviewer then asks if that rod will always be there. “Yeah,” says George. “It’s a part of me — an extra bone.”

He laughs as he says it, nervously and perhaps to avoid the obvious implications of what this means.

Paul George
Paul George /

LeBron doesn’t have a metal rod in his leg. Kevin Durant doesn’t have a rod. But he does, and he knows this isn’t how his career was supposed to go. As he talks — as he laughs — he seems to internalize the uphill challenge to get back to the level he believes he belongs at. The LeBron level. The Durant level. You can see the insecurity in Paul George as he laughs while talking about the rod, and it is palpable that a part of him is still just a scared 24-year-old.

Most of the time I’m sure he has all the confidence in the world that he will be back to his All-NBA form in no time. But a part of him has to be terrified that his best is behind him.

Next: A Time Line of Paul George's Recovery