The bond between players on the teams has grown stronger through the years, as Mathis and Pacers center Roy Hibbert have hosted a charity softball game the past few summers.
That’s why it wasn’t surprising that the Colts had nothing but encouraging words for Pacers All-Star guard Paul George after he suffered a gruesome lower right leg fracture in a scrimmage with Team USA on Friday night.
“I’ve never got to meet Paul personally, but I’ve always been a big fan,” Colts quarterback Andrew Luck said. “Your heart goes out to him. What a terrible thing. We all know he’ll come back stronger than ever. His work ethic and dedication, you can see it on the court, I think he’ll approach it the same way. He’ll be healthy and get back soon.”
Colts coach Chuck Pagano, who also often attends Pacers games, as a guest of coach Frank Vogel, heard about the news early Saturday morning.
“This is a devastating injury to a great, great young talent, but we all want to let Paul know that he’s in our thoughts and prayers,” Pagano said. “We’ve got his back. We’re all family in this city; we support one another. We all love Paul.
“We’re all going to be faced with adversity, we’re all going to be faced with circumstances, and my message to him is to 'take it one day at a time and pick that ax up and keep chopping wood.' Do that and that tree will eventually fall and he’ll get healthy, he’ll be back better than ever.”
Just saw the play with @Paul_George24... You're the man brother, I already can't wait for your return.
— Pat McAfee (@PatMcAfeeShow) August 2, 2014
— ROBERT MATHIS The1st (@RobertMathis98) August 2, 2014
— Weslye Saunders (@Wes_Saunders88) August 2, 2014