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#pounditWednesday, February 24, 2021

Articles tagged: Paul George

Paul George takes high road in response to Jared Dudley shade

Paul George

Paul George isn’t bothering himself with some petty criticism from Jared Dudley.

Dudley released an e-book this week to tell the story of his experience winning a championship with the Lakers in the Orlando bubble. One passage from the book got particular attention. Dudley claimed that the Lakers were bothered by talk from George last year. The Clippers saying they were the team to beat in LA bothered the Lakers. Some Lakers players felt George hadn’t earned the right to say that sort of thing.

George was asked about the matter following his Los Angeles Clippers’ win at Cleveland on Wednesday night. He took the high road and effectively said he wasn’t dropping down to Dudley’s level.

That’s a good response from Dudley. George is a six-time All-Star and five-time All-NBA player. He shouldn’t be concerned with what Dudley says.

PG was weak mentally at times in the Orlando bubble. He acknowledged that in some recent comments, and he’s already being better about not letting things bother him.

Jared Dudley: Lakers felt disrespected by Paul George last season

Paul George

Jared Dudley is peeling back yet another layer of the Lakers-Clippers rivalry.

The Lakers veteran released a 41-page mini-book on Kindle this week to tell the story of his experience winning a championship with the team in the Orlando bubble. In the book, Dudley spoke on the rivalry with the Clippers and mentioned Paul George specifically as a player the Lakers had an issue with.

“We hear some of those guys talking about how they’re the team to beat in LA,” wrote Dudley, per Lakers reporter Harrison Faigen. “It’s fine if Kawhi [Leonard] says stuff like that. He’s defending a championship. We don’t trip if someone like Patrick Beverley is talking trash. That’s how he feeds his family. We get it. We respect the hustle.

“But we think it’s disrespectful for Paul George, who hasn’t won, to put himself on the level of [Le]Bron [James] and AD [Anthony Davis],” Dudley went on. “This motivates us. When we see those guys around the compound, we don’t really kick it with them. The one exception of course is Markieff [Morris], whose twin brother, Marcus, is on the Clippers. This probably keeps tensions from boiling over.”

The 35-year-old Dudley, a former Clipper, also said that the Lakers felt slighted by seeing billboards of Leonard wearing a crown “in our city.” Of course, the highly-anticipated playoff matchup between the two sides never happened, as the Clippers lost in the second round to the Denver Nuggets.

There are definitely two sides to the coin here. In truth, George was actually more accomplished in the postseason than Davis was entering last year. He led a team (the Indiana Pacers in 2013 and 2014) to the conference finals as their undisputed No. 1 option. That is something that Davis still has yet to do. But on the other hand, George has quite the history of foot-in-mouth comments that effectively put a target on his team’s back. Thus, the Lakers are just an addition to a long laundry list of people George has rubbed the wrong way.

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Paul George was upset he showed ‘weakness’ last season

Paul George

Paul George once again looks like an MVP candidate this season, and the humiliation of last season may be partly to thank.

The LA Clippers forward scored 26 points on 8-of-14 shooting in a blowout win over the Sacramento Kings on Friday. After the game, George said he has been motivated by the way the 2019-20 campaign ended for the team.

“I’m coming back with vengeance,” said George, per Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN. “I didn’t like, not so much of the noise and everything around [the way last season ended], but just the fact that people saw weakness.

“And I had to address that,” the six-time All-Star added. “I had to answer that. That fueled me. That put me in a place where I wanted to come back and be myself again.”

In his age-30 campaign, George is now averaging a robust 25.3 points, 6.1 rebounds, and 5.2 assists per game. He is also posting career-highs of 50.3 percent from the field and a ridiculous 51.5 percent from three. Those are better numbers than what fellow star Kawhi Leonard is even averaging.

In previous months, George seemed to be pointing fingers elsewhere for the Clippers’ embarrassing playoff collapse. But it does sound like he has now found a more positive place to channel that energy.

Paul George has interesting explanation for embarrassing loss

Paul George

Paul George did not make any excuses for Sunday’s absolutely humiliating loss, but in a way he also did.

George’s Clippers were massacred by the Dallas Mavericks, falling by the lopsided final of 124-73. After the game, the star forward said that he took full responsibility for the loss. At the same time though, George said that the Clippers were sluggish because they played on the road for Christmas Day on Friday and did not get to celebrate with their families until Saturday.

While the Clippers were on the road in Denver for Christmas, the Mavs were also on the road facing the Los Angeles Lakers on Christmas. Sunday’s game took place in LA, meaning that the Mavs have not been back home since.

Though Kawhi Leonard did not play on Sunday, the Clippers’ performance as a team was still historically bad. George is a player who has a reputation for putting his foot in his mouth at times, and this may have been another instance of that.

Paul George defends stars getting preferential treatment from Clippers

Paul George

Paul George defended the preferential treatment star players receive with the Los Angeles Clippers.

There was talk at various points last year that some Clippers players were upset with the star treatment George and Kawhi Leonard received. A report in January said some Clippers players struggled with the preferential treatment for Kawhi and PG. Another report surfaced in October said the same thing, but focused on Kawhi.

George led the Clippers with 33 points in an opening-night victory over the rival Lakers on Tuesday night. He was interviewed by TNT after the game and asked about the star treatment reports. George defended the practice.

“The dudes that put in the work that built themselves up to be where they at, it’s a reason they get to that level. They know what they need and they know what makes them play at a high level,” George said.

George also hinted that the players who had the issues are no longer with the team.

“Whoever that offends, we ain’t have that history right now in this locker room.”

We have an idea of whom George is talking about with that comment.

George is right in a sense. Yes, players who have put in the work to build themselves into stars should know what type of effort and training they need. At the same time, those players are team leaders and cannot take advantage of the situation nor set bad examples by letting others think they don’t need to work hard.

If Tuesday night’s win is any indication, maybe the Clippers have figured things out this season.

Doc Rivers throws shade at Paul George over recent criticism

Doc Rivers

Paul George recently indicated that he was unhappy with the way Doc Rivers utilized him last year, and Rivers was initially diplomatic with his response. Now that some time has passed, the former Los Angeles Clippers coach seems to be more willing to share his actual thoughts on the subject.

George said on the “All the Smoke” podcast a couple weeks ago that Rivers tried to use him like a pindown shooter and did not involve him in enough pick-and-roll plays or post-ups. Rivers initially took the high road but noted that George played in more pick-and-rolls last season than any other in his career. The coach reiterated that during an interview with Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times this week, but he added a bit more commentary.

When asked about George, Rivers said he understands that not every player will enjoy playing for him. He also noted how George struggled in the postseason and was probably looking for someone to blame. Rivers said he joked with someone recently and said, “Paul loved playing for me until the playoffs.”

“Paul struggled in the playoffs,” Rivers said. “He struggled in the Dallas series. He needed somebody to blame, and I’m fine with that. Blame me. [Expletive], I can handle it.”

George tried to clean up his comments on Rivers after the fact, but it certainly seems like they annoyed Doc. It’s hard to argue with Doc’s response, too, especially when you look at George’s horrific stats in playoff elimination games.

Even if Rivers did make mistakes with the Clippers, George needs to prove he can play at a high level in the postseason before pointing the finger at someone else. Rivers has a championship on his resume. George does not.

Anthony Davis confirms he almost teamed up with Paul George

Anthony Davis

Anthony Davis and Paul George are now lined up on opposite sides in Los Angeles, but it almost could have looked a lot different for the two of them.

Davis, the Los Angeles Lakers star, confirmed on Sunday that he once had a conversation with George about teaming up on the Indiana Pacers, per Kyle Goon of Southern California News Group. Davis did add however that the discussion fizzled when it became clear the partnership would not happen.

George had said this past summer that “the best power forward” in the NBA was ready to team up with him on the Indiana Pacers in 2017. The Pacers were allegedly unwilling though to trade for the player (who we now know for certain was Davis). That led George to question the team’s priorities and ultimately request a trade.

Davis instead got traded to the Lakers a couple years later and just won his first NBA championship with them. Meanwhile, George was traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder and is now with his hometown LA Clippers, just signing a massive $190 million extension with them. Thus, the failed partnership ended up working out for both of them in a sense.

Doc Rivers responds to Paul George’s latest criticism

Doc Rivers

Doc Rivers is once again defending himself after Paul George said he disliked how he was used in the former Los Angeles Clippers coach’s system.

As part of an interview with the “All The Smoke” podcast, George said Rivers tried to use him as a Ray Allen-like pin-down shooter. George felt that was not the best use of his skills, adding that he’d have done better with “some mixes of some pick-and-roll, and post ups.”

Rivers was diplomatic when asked about George’s claims, but his frustration was apparent.

“Well, that’s just Paul’s opinion,” Rivers said in an interview with ESPN’s Cassidy Hubbarth. “I enjoyed coaching Paul. You know, I think if you go back and look at the stats, Paul played in more pick-and-rolls this last year than he ever did in his entire career.

“So I don’t know how that’s possible, and I wouldn’t mind playing like Ray Allen if I was a player. I think Ray Allen was pretty special. But listen, that’s his opinion. I’m fine with that. The team was second in the league, I think in scoring. Scoring wasn’t a problem, you know? It was winning that was the problem.”

The statistics actually back Rivers up on this. As shared by Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer, George finished 33 percent of all his plays using the pick-and-roll under Rivers. That represented the highest mark of his career.

Maybe George knows that, which is why he tried to clean up his comments after the fact. Ultimately, though, the damage was done. George’s critics see him as a player who refuses to take responsibility when he comes up short, as illustrated by quotes like this one. Acting like his usage was part of the problem when the stats simply don’t reflect his assertions will only give those critics more to work with.

Clippers sent Paul George some wine to celebrate contract extension

Paul George

Paul George on Thursday signed a massive contract extension with the Los Angeles Clippers, and the team sent him a present to celebrate.

George was already under contract to make $35.4 million in the upcoming season. The extension gives him four more years at $190 million.

To celebrate, the Clippers sent George some nice wine. PG13 shared photos on his Instagram Story Thursday of the wine, which comes from Napa Valley winery Caymus Vineyards.

George appeared to appreciate the gift and thanked Steve Ballmer and Lawrence Frank.

George is hoping that signing his contract extension will help convince Kawhi Leonard to remain with the team.

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Paul George weighs in on Kawhi Leonard’s long-term future with Clippers

Paul George

Paul George has committed long-term to the Los Angeles Clippers, and he’s hoping that might push Kawhi Leonard to do the same.

George and Leonard both previously had player options for 2021-22, but George opted to sign a five-year maximum extension with the Clippers. Leonard’s long-term status is still pending, but George made it clear he’d consulted with Leonard before signing his deal.

“I’m hopeful,” George said of Leonard’s long-term future with the Clippers, via Mark Medina of USA Today. “He’s one of the guys I talked and informed this is a decision I wanted to make and be long term.

“What I would love is to play with him for the rest of his contract. It’s Kawhi’s decision.”

George had a lot of financial reasons to sign this deal. One wonders how Leonard is feeling about his future, though. He’s more tight-lipped than George, but was also the one who put the entire process of playing with George in motion. Only time will tell, but the Clippers would certainly love to keep both.

Clippers fans, show everyone who runs Los Angeles with this great “We Run LA” shirt. It makes a perfect gift for you or a friend – you can buy it here: