Given the gut-churning nature of Paul George's freaky and gory injury Friday night during a scrimmage for USA Basketball, it's no surprise to see Kevin Ware's name pop up frequently the past few days.
After all, the George injury caused a lot of people to say and think the same thing: Worst thing I've seen on a basketball court since Kevin Ware. And when Ware wasted little time tweeting out his reaction and encouragement for George on Friday night, a lot of people took notice.
Man..— Kevin Ware (@5Juice) August 2, 2014
Minor setback for a major comeback PG.— Kevin Ware (@5Juice) August 2, 2014
Ware, of course, suffered among the most infamous injuries in basketball history. During Louisville's Elite Eight game against Duke in March of 2013, he took a bad fall that caused his tibia to snap -- an injury so bad the bone came through the skin. He also broke his fibula. The recovery process was a publicly positive one, and Ware used social media to keep people updated on his progress.
Ware transferred from Louisville earlier this year; he's now enrolled at Georgia State. And on Tuesday his interview on CBS Radio's "The Tiki, Brandon, and Dana Show" was enlightening and uplifting. Ware said his recovery period was "six or seven" months removed from the injury. (The diagnosis for Paul George's recovery has been set for at least a year.)
What would he say to George?
"I would just tell him to keep God in his prayers," Ware told CBS Sports Radio. "It's going to be tough at times, but at the same time, you're going to get through anything. God's not going to take you through anything. ... My thing was I thought it was God just telling me I had to take a break, go on a mini-vacation for awhile. That was me trying to be positive about it. But there are going to be times when he wants to break, and just cry probably, because I've had the thoughts in my head at times like those. When you go to to your teammates, or whoever his best friend might be, or someone that's close to him, and just talk. I learned to talk a lot more when this situation happened because I was a real quiet kid, but it definitely is going to show him something different. It's definitely going to make him appreciate basketball 10 times more than he probably has. I'm honestly, I prayed for him Friday night, I prayed for him since and I hope he has a speedy recovery."
Ware said he didn't even know his leg was broken until he looked at his former coach, Rick Pitino. He said he was going to try to get up.
"Like nothing happened," Ware said. "I didn't feel any pain until I got in the ambulance."
George's rehab will be one that just as many people, if not more, will be watching. Ware's horrific setback came during one of the biggest events in the world, so millions saw it live. George is a bigger name, playing in the NBA.
"It's probably going to be the hardest he's ever worked in his life," Ware said. "It's not you working on your leg. You're going to have to work on your quad, your knee to get your leg back strong -- and not just favoring your right leg, you have to do everything for your left leg."
The interview is really good. Ware has some terrific perspective, as you'd expect, now 17 months removed from his injury. Give it a listen in full here.
Kevin Ware on CBS Sports Radio