Paul George and the Indiana Pacers’ season ended over the weekend, officially marking the beginning of rumor season for the all-star swingman, and no such season would be complete without connecting him to the Los Angeles Lakers.
Thing is: We’ve been hearing this for quite some time. We know he’s from L.A. We know he loved Kobe Bryant growing up. We know his dad loved Magic Johnson growing up. We know he’s frustrated playing for a franchise in Indiana that appears stuck in neutral, if not reverse.
There’s literally nothing new to report and that won’t change until at least May 15, when the NBA lottery takes place and the Lakers will have an extra asset to either offer in a trade for George or use to draft a potential future teammate of his.
Still, these clicks won’t get themselves, so you have stuff like this, from Mitch Lawrence of Sporting News. He postures that Magic Johnson should be wary of building around George, but offers very little in the form of new information linking George to Los Angeles.
A SoCal native, he’s (George) been talking about playing for his hometown team, the Lakers, for a long time. He’s never made his long-term intentions a secret within the Pacers’ locker room, according to former teammates. He wants to wear the purple and gold.
The timing is interesting. George has repeatedly said publicly over the years that he’s been committed to winning in Indiana. Lawrence says former teammates (who, one would imagine, played with him while he said this publicly) had this to say after the fact.
So either George lied publicly about what his intentions were, then privately admitted what he really wanted to have happen, making him quite possibly one of the worst teammates ever, or these former teammates are spreading rumors after the fact.
The column does give reason as to why the Lakers should avoid George as the centerpiece of the current rebuild and cites his treatment of teammates along with other variables, so perhaps it’s with that context those teammates felt comfortable offering up this information.
Still, there are few more effective ways to get attention than to link a superstar to the Lakers. There is smoke billowing from George’s camp, and from Magic Johnson himself, who basically admitted he wants George as recently as last week. And you know how that cliché goes.
Fair warning: Get ready for a never-ending stream of reports like this one.