Paul George takes heat for comments about Lakers
Many Los Angeles Lakers fans are upset with Paul George for leading them to believe that he would sign with their team, and he is certainly not helping matters after the fact either.
Part 3 of George’s series documenting his free agency aired Tuesday on ESPN, and in it he spoke about turning down the Lakers, his hometown team.
“I 100 percent appreciate Laker Nation for wanting me to come back home, wanting me to play in front of them,” said the five-time All-Star forward, per Tania Ganguli of the Los Angeles Times. “I wanted to come here a year ago prior to going to OKC. Unfortunately, [I] wasn’t traded to [the] Lakers.
“Lakers didn’t grab me. I was traded to Oklahoma,” George continued. “That has been a beautiful thing for me.”
Unsurprisingly, fans of the purple and gold were not pleased to hear George insinuating that the Lakers were to blame for his decision not to sign with them, and several of them responded accordingly on Twitter.
Look at this guy, is he for real?!
— KofiDiesel (@Kaysika2020) July 4, 2018
PG banned from LA
— Reggie (@UMBC_Fan) July 4, 2018
Didn't this dude and his people come out and make it clear that last year was gonna be a 1 year rental cause he intends on signing with the Lakers this summer this dude is losing my respect everyday now smh
— AbSOULutePhenom (@Soul_Phenom) July 4, 2018
Paul George must think Lakers fans don't understand what Free agancy is
— SONOFABALLBOY (@Sonofaballboy) July 4, 2018
Lost a lot of respect for him by not even meeting with the Lakers. He blames them for not trading for him last year? Weak and soft.
— David MacConnachie (@D__Mac) July 4, 2018
He's sensitive, aint trading the farm for a guy who didnt show up in the playoffs against a rookie in utah
— Karanvir (@KSmentality94) July 4, 2018
— Christopher stever (@cmstever10) July 4, 2018
Indeed, George had been vocal about his supposed desire to join the Lakers in 2018 from the time that he was still with the Indiana Pacers. Thus, it would make little sense for the Lakers to gut their team of multiple young assets in a trade when they could just wait a year to sign him outright in free agency.
It’s not like the Lakers didn’t try either — they were fined $500,000 by the NBA for tampering with George, only for him to not even take a meeting with them once free agency began. True, he may have some very good reasons for saying no the purple and gold to return to the Oklahoma City Thunder. But it’s hard to see disappointment with the Lakers for not swinging an unnecessary and illogical trade for him a year early as being one of them.