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#pounditTuesday, December 7, 2021

Paul George

Grizzlies player took shot at Paul George after beating Clippers

Paul George in his Clippers uniform

One Memphis Grizzlies player may be trying to join Damian Lillard and Joe Ingles on Paul George’s list of enemies.

The Grizzlies played George’s LA Clippers on Thursday night, winning 120-108. After the game, Grizzlies guard Dillon Brooks, who was a primary defender on George, took a shot at the seven-time All-Star.

“Paul George needs illegal screens to get open against me cuz I’m on him all night,” said Brooks, per Tomer Azarly of ClutchPoints.

Despite the loss, George still finished with a team-high 23 points to go along with five rebounds and six assists. George also had five three-pointers on an efficient 9-for-18 shooting night overall. Thus, it does not seem like Brooks really bothered him much at all.

George often has screens set for him by seven-footers Ivica Zubac and Isaiah Hartenstein, so that was probably who Brooks was really upset with. Brooks is also a bit of an instigator who has beefed with other opponents too.

Photo: Feb 26, 2020; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Los Angeles Clippers guard Paul George (13) against the Phoenix Suns at Talking Stick Resort Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Paul George has savage joke about Staples Center’s name change

Paul George in his Clippers uniform

Count Paul George among those who is not a Crypto.com bro.

The LA Clippers star reacted on Tuesday to the impending name change of Staples Center, the team’s current home. The venue will be soon renamed as the Crypto.com Arena as part of a massive rights deal.

“It will be weird,” said George, per Tomer Azarly of ClutchPoints. “I grew up this being Staples and Staples being the place to play and the place to be. It will definitely be weird. It’s the same location, but it’s kind of like stripping the history here by calling it something else.”

Geroge than cracked a savage joke about the name change.

“Good thing we won’t be here too long,” the seven-time All-Star quipped. “We’ll be at our own place, so it is what it is, I guess.”

Indeed, the Clippers will be moving out in 2024 to play at their own arena, the Intuit Dome in Inglewood, Calif. The team recently broke ground on the state-of-the-art arena, and it is already looking pretty fresh and innovative.

Staples Center has housed the Clippers, the Lakers, and the NHL’s Kings since its opening in 1999. It has also been home to the WNBA’s Sparks since 2001. Like George said, the name change will feel strange. But fortunately for the Clippers, they will only have to deal with it for a few years.

Photo: Feb 26, 2020; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Los Angeles Clippers guard Paul George (13) against the Phoenix Suns at Talking Stick Resort Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Paul George offers theory on leaguewide shooting struggles

Paul George in his Clippers uniform

The three-ball is not falling at the rate that we are accustomed to in the NBA this season, and Paul George has a theory for why that may be the case.

After his LA Clippers beat the Oklahoma City Thunder on Monday, George said that it has been tough to adjust to the NBA’s new Wilson brand game ball, which replaced the traditional Spalding ball for this season.

“Not to make an excuse or anything, it’s just a different basketball,” he said, per Farbod Esnaashari of Sports Illustrated. “It doesn’t have the same touch or softness as the Spalding ball had. You’ll see this year, there’s going to be a lot of bad misses.”

George himself has not been too affected by the change, actually posting even better shooting numbers than last season. But when you look at some of the NBA’s top three-point scorers like Damian Lillard (shooting 23.1 percent from deep this season), Luka Doncic (23.8), Jayson Tatum (27.1), and Duncan Robinson (32.1), the difference is readily apparent.

Spalding had been the producer of official NBA game balls since 1983. That means that players are now having to adjust to a ball that they have never used before in their entire careers. Some have expressed confusion at their shooting struggles to start the season, but George has a theory that actually makes a lot of sense.

Photo: Feb 26, 2020; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Los Angeles Clippers guard Paul George (13) against the Phoenix Suns at Talking Stick Resort Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Paul George’s ‘logo’ challenge to Steph Curry completely backfired

Paul George talks to Steph Curry

Paul George issued a challenge to Steph Curry towards the end of Thursday night’s game, and it backfired.

George’s Los Angeles Clippers were leading Curry’s Golden State Warriors late in the fourth quarter of the game at the Chase Center in San Francisco, Calif. TV cameras caught George issuing a challenge to Curry to “make it interesting” by each taking a shot from the logo.

Curry took his shot and made it to give the Warriors the lead 108-107.

George missed a 23-foot shot but made a 27-foot three-pointer a minute later. His second shot only brought his Clippers within one. They lost the game 115-113.

Maybe challenging the best shooter ever to a shooting contest late in the game is not the best idea. But George doesn’t always say and do the smartest things, does he?

Paul George has vulgar message for his haters

Paul George in his Clippers uniform

Paul George enters the new NBA season with something to prove … to absolutely nobody.

The LA Clippers star spoke with reporters this week and delivered a vulgar message to all of his haters.

“It’s just an approach where I don’t give a F,” said George, per Andrew Greif of the LA Times. “I don’t give a s—. That’s just how I attack the court now. Like I said, I don’t need validation. I’m my worst critic, and that’s the only thing that matters — the only thing that matters to me.

“I’ve done a good job of that in my career up to that point of not allowing outside noise to affect me. so that’s really where the page turned,” George went on. “The corner turned for me was, I don’t care what anyone else has to say. Like, 90 percent of the people who are critiquing me can’t do what I do. It’s just funny that someone can call someone else out of what they do, what their profession is, and people buy into that.”

The seven-time All-Star George has been the target of much public criticism in recent years, especially overused jokes about his supposed shortcomings in the playoffs. But the man that they clown as “Playoff P” or “Pandemic P” shut up the trolls last postseason with his gutsy performance during star teammate Kawhi Leonard’s injury absence. George put the Clippers on his back, logging huge minutes and taking on a massive scoring load to lead the team to their first conference finals berth in franchise history.

The Clippers may be counting on George for a repeat performance now that Leonard is expected out for most if not all of the new season as well. But when it comes to his haters, which include some famous ones too, George thinks that they can all buzz off.

Photo: Feb 26, 2020; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Los Angeles Clippers guard Paul George (13) against the Phoenix Suns at Talking Stick Resort Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

LeBron has great reaction to viral Kawhi Leonard, Paul George video

LeBron James

The Los Angeles Clippers officially broke ground on their new arena on Friday, and the team’s biggest stars were on hand to take part in the festivities. Some of them didn’t seem particularly thrilled about it, which was a great source of entertainment for LeBron James and others.

The Clippers held a live performance for personnel and fans at the site of the Intuit Dome in Inglewood, Calif. Kawhi Leonard and Paul George were among those who had a front-row seat to the show, and a video went viral that showed them looking bored to death. LeBron had a great reaction on Twitter.

That’s exactly how most people who saw the video felt.

Leonard is known for rarely ever showing enthusiasm, and it has actually become a big part of his brand. The Clippers won’t move into their new arena until 2024-25 season, so perhaps that’s why Leonard wasn’t overly excited. More likely, though, is that it was simply Kawhi being Kawhi.

Paul George believes this factor cost Clippers series against Suns

Paul George

The Los Angeles Clippers lost to the Phoenix Suns in six games in the Western Conference Finals, and Paul George thinks the outcome would have been different if not for one key factor.

George said after Wednesday’s loss that he believes the Clippers would have won the series had Kawhi Leonard been healthy. Leonard missed the entire series with a knee injury he suffered in the second round against Utah.

“We’d be going on,” George said when asked how the series would have gone with Leonard involved, via Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN. “This series would be a lot different. Talk about one of the best players in the league being out, yet we were inches away from getting to the next round.

“So, definitely it’s a ‘what if’ on this. Fact of the matter is we didn’t do enough to win, and that’s the reason we’re going home.”

On one hand, George has a point. It’s hard to play such a big series against a team like that without a player of Leonard’s caliber. On the other hand, the Suns were without arguably their best player in Chris Paul for the first two games of the series, and Phoenix won both of those games anyway. Perhaps the series goes differently if George and the Clippers had seen out Game 2.

Leonard is eligible to become a free agent this summer. While the consensus is that he’s most likely to remain with the Clippers, some teams appear likely to try to tempt him away.

Charles Barkley blasts Paul George for whining about scrutiny

Charles Barkley

Charles Barkley on Tuesday blasted Paul George and his defenders for whining about how much criticism he receives.

DeMarcus Cousins was among those who gave an impassioned defense of George following PG’s big 41-point game to help his Clippers avoid elimination against the Suns in Game 5 on Monday. He said he didn’t understand where the narrative about George being a choker came from. Cousins questioned anyone who thinks George is a choker.

George also said it was a “fact” that he is unfairly targeted.

During “Inside the NBA” on Tuesday, Barkley blasted all that talk. He said the scrutiny George faces is no different than what any other excellent/franchise player faces.

Barkley is right. George wants to be considered a top player in the league and a franchise centerpiece. Part of the responsibilities of such a player is to carry his team in the postseason, which George consistently has failed to do. He also brought even more attention to himself by dubbing himself “Playoff P” and then failing to live up to the moniker.

The scrutiny George has received has been commensurate to his status as one of the top players in the league. Any extra criticism has been the result of George’s own doing.

DeMarcus Cousins gives impassioned defense of Paul George

DeMarcus Cousins

DeMarcus Cousins gave an impassioned defense of his teammate, Paul George, after PG13 had a big game on Monday night.

George had a huge game for the Los Angeles Clippers in Game 5 of the Western Conference finals. He went 15/20 shooting with 41 points, 13 rebounds and six assists in his team’s 116-102 win over the Phoenix Suns. George also was perfect at the free throw line, going 8-for-8.

George played such a great game that he was able to carry his team to victory and avoid elimination. After the game, Cousins, who scored 15 points in 11 minutes, talked up his teammate. He specifically struck back at the line of thinking that George is not a big-game player.

The narrative came in large part because of what George has done. The guy called himself “Playoff P” and then performed poorly in the playoffs. You can’t give yourself such a nickname and then not live up to it.

So, yes, George did it to himself. But if he keeps playing this well, he will change the narrative. He just has to keep delivering consistently, which isn’t easy. His Clippers are still down 3-2 in the series.

Paul George hilariously shot down Joe Ingles question

Paul George

Paul George was not having it with a reporter who tried to “Jingle” him.

The LA Clippers forward dropped a playoff-high 31 points on six threes in a crucial win over the Utah Jazz in Saturday’s Game 3. After the game, George received a question about his relationship with Jazz forward Joe Ingles.

“I don’t care about him,” George replied bluntly, per Farbod Esnaashari of Sports Illustrated. “Next question.”

George vs. Ingles is a storyline that many have been watching during the second-round playoff series. The two have a history of beef dating back to 2018 when George was still with the Oklahoma City Thunder.

But Ingles recently sounded uninterested in rekindling the feud. The same seems doubly true for George, whose Clippers are focused on trying to climb out of a second consecutive 0-2 hole this postseason.