Paul George intends to play with the U.S Olympic team in Rio de Janeiro next summer, which would be less than two years after his gruesome leg injury during a Team USA scrimmage.
"Larry [Bird], of all people, knows how important it is to play and represent your country. So he's got my back on that one, and it's a personal goal."Paul George
George said Saturday that Indiana Pacers president of basketball operations Larry Bird supports his aspirations.
"Larry, of all people, knows how important it is to play and represent your country. So he's got my back on that one, and it's a personal goal," George said. "Coach [Mike] Krzyzewski knows I'm on board."
George, however, said he won't be in attendance at Team USA's minicamp next month in Las Vegas, according to the Indianapolis Star.
He was speaking from the Kroger Unplug and Play Paul George Basketball ProCamp at Avon High School on Indianapolis' west side, where he was helping to teach 250 youngsters the finer points of the game.
He said he can't wait to put the injury behind him.
"I feel great," George said. "I still notice some things that are not Paul George characteristic yet, but I feel good and the good thing is we're still in mid-summer. By training camp, I'll be ready to go."
After running into a basketball stanchion and gruesomely snapping his right leg during a U.S. national team scrimmage in Las Vegas last August, George was wheeled off the court on a stretcher. He missed 76 games before making his season debut April 5.
Eleven months after the injury ruined his season and derailed the Pacers' title hopes, George has moved on.
"It almost seems like it happened ages ago," George said Saturday at a basketball camp in Indianapolis. "I forget sometimes that it happened less than a year ago, and that's a good thing because I've just been on the court, working out."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.