California native Paul George has been linked to his hometown Los Angeles Lakers since last summer, with speculation carrying into his impending free agency this summer. While some of that is just speculation, a large part of it has to with comments made by George prior to be trading to the Oklahoma City Thunder in July.
George told the Indiana Pacers’ front office he was going to leave the franchise once his contract was up in 2018, “preferably for the Los Angeles Lakers,”according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowksi,
Now 37 games into the season with his new team, does George regret making those comments and creating unnecessary outside noise around his team? Absolutely not.
“No, no regrets at all,” George told reporters ahead of the Thunder’s two-game stay in Los Angeles.
“All that was said was a destination I would love to go to ... I just stated somewhere I would love to go play. You ask 80-70 percent of guys in the league if they would love to go back home in play in front of their city, in front of their home ... that’s all I stated, that I would have loved to go back home and play for my city.”
Pretty candid stuff from Paul George about L.A. with Lakers and Clippers coming up. Says he has no regrets about Lakers popping up as trade destination when he was with Pacers: pic.twitter.com/1j2bqmRc8m— Erik Horne (@ErikHorneOK) January 2, 2018
“But no, no regrets at all,” he continues. “I thought this trade that went down was a win-win for both sides and you know, I’m happy we’ve both moved on.”
Does that sound like a guy that doesn’t still want to go back home and play for his hometown? If I was a Thunder fan, I would be sick.
The Lakers will host the Thunder on Wednesday in what will be the first game of a five-game home stand. It’s almost a guarantee George will get a warm reception from the city of Los Angeles, and it won’t be just because he grew up there.