clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Paul George says Lakers fans booing him didn’t bother him: ‘A little noise is not going to make me forget how to play basketball’

New, comments

The boos from the Lakers fans at Staples Center seemingly had an opposite affect on Paul George.

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

Oklahoma City Thunder v Los Angeles Lakers Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images

Going into Wednesday’s game, Oklahoma City Thunder forward Paul George said he didn’t know what kind of reaction he would get when he visited Staples Center to take on the Los Angeles Lakers for the first time since spurning the team in free agency. Luckily for him, he didn’t have to wait too long to find out.

During pregame introductions, the home crowd gave George a warm welcome back hom to Southern California — and by that I mean they showered him with thunderous boos.

The boos didn’t stop once the game started either. Every time George touched the ball during the game, the fans serenaded him with boos.

Unfortunately, those boos didn’t doo anything to throw of George’s game. In fact, they might have even fueled him to have the night he did.

“I heard what the crowd was doing,” Kentavious Caldwell-Pope told reporters following the game. “I kinda feel like he fed off that a little bit.”

The numbers George put up certainly support that claim. In 34 minutes against the Lakers, George scored 37 points on 57.1 percent shooting from the field despite shooting just 2-11 from behind the arc. He also contributed four rebounds and four steals.

George said he heard the boos, but he wasn’t surprised by them, nor was he at all affected:

Maybe the boos didn’t affect George because Russell Westbrook thought they were for him. Westbrook shot a season-low 15 percent from the field on Wednesday despite taking 20 shots. He was arguably the Lakers’ best player.

In all seriousness, George reminded Lakers fans why he was at the top of their free agent wishlist this summer. Hopefully that trend doesn’t continue each time he visits Staples Center this season. If it does, at least the Lakers will likely have LeBron James back by the next time they see each other.

For more Lakers talk, subscribe to the Silver Screen and Roll podcast feed on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher or Google Podcasts. You can follow Christian on Twitter at @RadRivas.