Paul George suffered a serious leg injury during the USA Basketball Showcase, colliding with the stanchion that supports and holds up the rim and backboard. When George landed his leg was wedged into the corner of the stanchion, which appeared to be closer to the court than it is in NBA regulation, according to ESPN's Brian Windhorst.
Here's Windhorst's full statement he gave regarding the positioning of the stanchion during ESPN's Sportscenter immediately following the injury:
"This is the stanchion where Paul George got his foot stuck. This is closer than the normal NBA regulation should be. I have to admit: I don't know what the actual definitions are, but I know from just eyeballing it that it may be a foot or two closer to the baseline than you'd normally have at an NBA arena. We'll obviously hear from Paul down the line, but [he didn't think] he'd have to worry about landing on the basket stanchion because he wouldn't have had to worry about it. He's landed many, many times without worrying about it. That's one of the issues with this arena. It's why the NBA won't have a team back here and it's why they haven't' brought the All-Star game back here. Even if they wanted to take the stanchion back even further, the stanchion as is is almost in the tunnel."
Here's a look at the stanchion where George suffered the injury, via Windhorst:
Basket stanchions at Thomas & Mack Center appears to be significantly closer than NBA standard. pic.twitter.com/q0Nd5N847D— Brian Windhorst (@WindhorstESPN) August 2, 2014
And here's a comparison between the stanchions at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, and the stanchion at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, home of the Indiana Pacers:
Jared Dudley also took notice of the stanchion's location on the court, tweeting the basket was closer than usual:
Just watching @WindhorstESPN on Sportscenter, and he's right!!!! Why was the basket so close?!!!!! It's never that close!! Smh— Jared Dudley (@JaredDudley619) August 2, 2014
While other current and former players are making a call for the stanchion to be pushed further away from baseline:
I hope now they will move da basket back, if paul wouldn't of hit the base of the basket. He would be ok, tell me what u think #moveitback— SHAQ (@SHAQ) August 2, 2014
Prayers up for Paul George!!!!! I've been saying the backstop of the basket should be pushed back further— Ty Lawson (@TyLawson3) August 2, 2014
Many are asserting that the stanchion was closer than regulation, though no official statement has been made regarding the dimensions of the basketball court at the Thomas & Mack Center.
Update: From ESPN's Ramona Shelburne:
Word is the stanchion at UNLV Friday was measured at 3 feet,11 inches which is just one inch short of the NBA standard.— Ramona Shelburne (@ramonashelburne) August 2, 2014
Four feet is the NBA MINIMUM standard for basketball stanchions.— Ramona Shelburne (@ramonashelburne) August 2, 2014