The Los Angeles Lakers will host the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday night in what will be the first visit Paul George has made to Staples Center since his decision not to take a meeting with the Lakers during free agency.
At shootaround on Wednesday, George told reporters that he doesn’t know what to expect from the home crowd, but he also said he’s not concerned about it:
“I’m not sure. I’m excited to see what it will be regardless. I came here to win. That’s the only thing I’m worried about.”
While George may claim he’s not thinking about the reception he’ll get from Staples Center, that’s probably because there’s a very small chance it will be a warm one.
We’re talking about the same fans that still boo Dwight Howard whenever he comes to town and he had his falling out with the Lakers six years ago! For context as to how long its been since then, Marvel had just released “Thor: The Dark World” and “Iron Man 3.” We’re now on our fourth Avengers movie.
Hell, Lakers fans were booing LeBron James as soon as two years ago! The Staples Center faithful are ruthless and passionate, if nothing else. It might not be “LeBron’s return to Cleveland in 2010” bad, but George can expect a shower of boos from the fans at Staples on Wednesday.
Hopefully the Lakers can do their job and upset the No. 3 seed Thunder in their first meeting this season. Last season, L.A. and OKC split the season series at two games apiece.
If the Lakers beat the Thunder without LeBron James then, there’s no reason they shouldn’t be able to match that this season, or maybe even do better.