Portland Trail Blazers All-Star guard Damian Lillard was as horrified as anyone on the floor Friday night when fellow All-Star Paul George of the Indiana Pacers sustained a compound fracture of his right leg during the USA Basketball Showcase in Las Vegas.
But he also told Comcast Sports Net Northwest that he has no plans to take himself out of consideration for the team the U.S. will send to the FIBA World Cup in Spain later this month.
“It’s a risk any time you step out on the basketball court,” Lillard said. “I haven’t thought about stepping away. I’ll stay in.”
Lillard did say, however, he’s never seen anything like what happened Friday night.
“Any time you have a superstar in this league go down like that, it’s something you don’t ever want to see again,” Lillard said. “It was tough to see, very emotional. Unreal, but out of respect for P.G., I think we just need to stay away from that topic. We don’t want them reliving that terrible incident.”
Lillard played 14 minutes in the showcase and scored seven points on 3-of-9 shooting with three rebounds, an assist and a steal. He was 1-for-4 from 3-point range.
Lillard was an All-Star in his second season with the Trail Blazers in 2013-14, leading Portland to its first postseason series victory since 2000.
He averaged 20.7 points, 5.6 assists and 3.5 rebounds in 35.8 minutes per game last season, shooting .424/.394/.871. He was the NBA’s Rookie of the Year in 2012-13 after Portland selected him sixth overall out of Weber State.