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Paul George and Andre Roberson share connection with Oklahoma City Thunder trainer

From NBA media reports

Casual NBA fans won’t know his name or his face. Such is life for guys like Joe Sharpe, the head athletic trainer for the Oklahoma City Thunder the past decade. If there was a devastating injury suffered by one of the team’s stars, Sharpe was the first man on the scene and the one with the responsibility of helping said player get back to physical health.

But his reach has extended beyond his work with the Thunder. He’s also worked with USA Basketball, and was on the scene when Thunder All-Star Paul George suffered a major injury in 2014. That gives Sharpe a deeper connection to both George and injured Thunder swingman Andre Roberson, who will travel some of the same roads to recovery George already has. It’s a benefit the Thunder will no doubt use to their advantage, writes Erik Horne of the Oklahoman:

When Roberson and George were injured, Thunder trainer Joe Sharpe was there. He’s the common thread between the Thunder players during the most pivotal moments of their careers.

“I tried to get up almost like in a sit-up position to look at my leg, and he pushed me back down,” George told NBA TV in 2014. “He told me ‘Everything’s going to be OK. Don’t look at it. You’re going to get through it. Just stay strong.’”

“The person that really helped me was the (Oklahoma City) Thunder’s trainer (Joe Sharpe).”

Sharpe is in his 10th season as the Thunder’s head athletic trainer, and is one of the most respected trainers around the NBA. Before joining the Thunder, he worked a combined six seasons with the then-Charlotte Bobcats and Minnesota. He’s worked with the U.S. Olympic program in some capacity since 2002, and was selected in 2009 as a trainer to the men’s national team.

“Joe was a very highly recommended guy in his field, and had established a great track record,” USA basketball director Jerry Colangelo told The Oklahoman. “He lived up to every bit of his billing.

“Joe was a very cool guy. He doesn’t have major ups, major downs.”

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