The latest unexpected swerve in the wild and winding summer of Paul George was a particularly outlandish scenario in which the Indiana Pacers All-Star was already recruiting players like LeBron James and Klay Thompson to join him with the Los Angeles Lakers.
A year before free agency.
As James Harden recruiting Chris Paul to the Houston Rockets before free agency makes clear, these kinds of things do happen. The fact that the rumor has been reported by multiple outlets also adds credence to it.
However, Thompson actually leaving the Golden State Warriors as a free agent to join George on a rebuilding Lakers team — or even one with LeBron — just always seemed like a far-fetched thing to actually happen, especially with Thompson’s own father and reporters like Ramona Shelburne of ESPN shooting the possibility down.
Thompson is in China as part of a promotional tour, and finally had a chance to address those rumors publicly. In a shocking turn of events, he said they weren’t accurate:
As for the recent Paul George / Lakers rumors, Klay Thompson shot that down & told me he hasn't spoken to PG at all lately.— Nick DePaula (@NickDePaula) June 29, 2017
Klay Thompson says his last conversation with Paul George was FIFA video game trash talk texts last summer during the Rio Olympics.— Nick DePaula (@NickDePaula) June 29, 2017
What else is Thompson supposed to say?
“Why yes, I am thinking of leaving one of the best teams of all-time in two years to play there with guys who are on other teams right now, I’m glad you asked!”
No. That was never going to happen, which does open up a few possibilities:
- The reports are wrong- Doubtful. Given how prevalent they are, there is some smoke here.
- Klay is just saying the right thing here- This is the most likely scenario, even if it’s not particularly fun.
- Klay legitimately forgot he talked to Paul George- Given his reputation for being a well-meaning but slightly spacey guy, this is possible.
- Paul George has been catfished- How do multiple outlets get word that George is talking to Klay if he hasn’t actually spoken with him? Because George thinks he is, but has actually been tricked by David West stealing George’s phone to play a prank on his old teammate. Just wait until he signs with the Lakers and Nev comes out to tell him the truth.
- Klay Thompson thinks Paul George recruiting him to the Lakers over games of FIFA was just trash talk- This is surprisingly possible, and here’s how:
And that’s how both sides think something completely different happened.
Or Thompson was just saying the right thing. Anything is possible.