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Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Articles tagged: Paul George

Kawhi Leonard, Paul George met at Drake’s house to discuss teaming up

The two face-to-face meetings that helped unite Kawhi Leonard and Paul George on the Los Angeles Clippers took place in a rather surprising spot.

Leonard and George had numerous discussions about joining together to play for the Clippers while Leonard was a free agent, but the pair only met in person twice while working through the process. Those meetings took place at rapper Drake’s house in Hidden Hills, California, according to Ramona Shelburne of ESPN.

The reason for this? Drake and Leonard had become friends during Leonard’s tenure with the Toronto Raptors. When Leonard visited Los Angeles to meet with teams, Drake permitted the forward to stay at his house, which is how Leonard and George ended up congregating there.

This actually fits with reporting at the time stating that Leonard had the Lakers move a meeting from El Segundo to Westlake Village in order to meet with George afterward. Hidden Hills is roughly an hour closer to Westlake Village, so it would make sense for this to be true.

The funny part about this is Drake is a well-known Raptors superfan who would have wanted to see Leonard stay in Toronto. In the end, his hospitality appears to have made it easier for Leonard to leave for Los Angeles, though that likely would have happened anyway.

Paul George admits he is avoiding contact after shoulder surgery

Paul George

Paul George is still trying to work his way all the way back from the shoulder surgery that forced him to miss the start of his first season with the Los Angeles Clippers, and the star swingman is not denying that he is playing a bit differently now than he did before suffering the injury.

George, who is averaging 23.7 points in the 23 games in which he has played, said after Saturday’s loss to the Utah Jazz that he has been “shying away from contact” since returning.

If George has been hesitant to finish plays at the rim, it would stand to reason that he is also being less aggressive when rebounding. That could help explain why his rebounding numbers are down to 6.0 per game this year from 8.2 with the Oklahoma City Thunder last season.

The good news is the Clippers are 23-11 even with George admitting his game is not where he wants it to be. It’s also a positive sign that he is acknowledging the unwillingness to attack defenders, as that likely means he will work on it going forward.

The Clippers have gotten some clutch play from guys other than George and Kawhi Leonard this season, which is what they will need until George feels he is 100 percent back. Assuming he doesn’t suffer any setbacks, there’s no reason to think he won’t get there.

Clippers fans, show everyone who runs Los Angeles with this great “We Run LA” shirt:

H/T Uproxx

Clippers interested in trading for ex-Paul George teammate?

Paul George

The LA Clippers just might be throwing it back to Paul George’s Indiana days.

Dan Woike of the Los Angeles Times reported Saturday that NBA sources not authorized to speak publicly believe that the Clippers are looking at players like Chicago Bulls forward Thaddeus Young via trade. Woike also says that rival executives think the team could be on the hunt for another physical center or another playmaking guard.

The 31-year-old Young, who is averaging 8.8 points and 4.5 rebounds in 21.8 minutes per game this season, was teammates with George on the Indiana Pacers for one season in 2016-17. He is in the first year of a three-year, $44 million deal and would be following in the footsteps of Clippers big Patrick Patterson, who played with George in Oklahoma City as well.

While the Clippers may prefer another better-known forward, a player like Young would come cheaper and might even potentially be a better fit.

Clippers fans, show everyone who runs Los Angeles with this great “We Run LA” shirt:

Paul George promises to ‘tell all’ on why he left Pacers

Paul George

Paul George was once again booed when he returned to Indiana as a visiting player on Monday night, and he responded by having one of his best games of the season. While the star swingman openly admits he embraces the villain role against his former team, he says Pacers fans are directing their taunts at the wrong guy.

After he led the Los Angeles Clippers to a win over Indiana with 36 points, nine rebounds and five assists, George told reporters that he plans to tell the real story behind how and why he left the Pacers. However, now is not the time for that.

“Someday I’ll do a tell all and tell the leading events of how I left Indiana,” George said. “And I promise you, I’m not the one to boo. … I like being the villain. I’m here two nights out of the year. The people they should boo is here a lot longer than me.”

The implication from George is obviously that the Pacers’ front office is to blame for the way he left Indiana. He likely feels they made promises about the future of the team and never followed through, which is why he wanted to be traded.

Of course, Pacers fans are not the only group of NBA fans that likes to boo George, so it’s no surprise he uses it as motivation. He helped keep Indiana in contention for seven seasons before he was traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder, so perhaps fans will one day thank him for that rather than showering him with boos.

Paul George thinks trading him ‘worked out great’ for Thunder

Paul George

The Oklahoma City Thunder are trying to rebuild after essentially being forced to unload Paul George and Russell Westbrook over the summer, but George believes his former team came away just fine after dealing him to the Los Angeles Clippers.

After George’s go-ahead three-pointer with just over 25 seconds left helped the Clippers defeat Oklahoma City on Monday, the star swingman said he believes the trade OKC made involving him “worked out great.” He was complimentary of second-year guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and veteran Danilo Gallinari, whom the Thunder acquired in the deal, and pointed to all the draft picks his former team landed.

“I thought it worked out great for them,” George said, via ESPN’s Ohm Youngmisuk. “I think Shai is a future star, and he’s proven that he can carry a load … him just being under (Chris Paul), he is going to learn so much. So they got a star.

“And Danilo is a proven big-time scorer. And then how many picks that they got? Their future is bright. Sam Presti is a proven expert at drafting.”

Gilgeous-Alexander is certainly off to a hot start, as he’s averaging 19.7 points per game. Gallinari was only involved in the deal to match salaries, but the Thunder landed a whopping five first-round picks in the George trade (two from the Miami Heat) and the rights to swap two future first-rounders. If you have to trade a star player, that is the way to do it.

Obviously, the Thunder would rather still have George and Westbrook. George is right that they will be in good hands with Presti building the roster, but there have been rumblings about him potentially leaving to join another organization. If that happens, it would be one of Oklahoma City’s biggest losses to date.

Paul George has funny explanation for his hot start

Paul George

Paul George had a funny explanation on Saturday night for his hot scoring start to the season.

George made his season debut for the LA Clippers on Thursday night after missing the first 11 games as he recovered from offseason surgeries on both shoulders. He scored 33 points in Thursday’s loss and 37 in Saturday night’s 150-101 win over the Atlanta Hawks.

Asked about averaging 35 points per game to start the season, George offering a humorous explanation.

It’s no surprise George is scoring well now that he’s had his shoulders repaired. The guy was on fire last season and an MVP candidate until injuring his shoulder.

Prior to the right shoulder injury in February, he was averaging 28.7 points per game on 45.1 percent shooting, including 40.3 percent from 3 on 9.6 attempts. After the injury, George averaged 26.1 points per game on 39.7 percent shooting, including 33.8 percent from 3 on 10.4 attempts. Seeing him back at MVP form now that he’s healthy is no surprise and a credit to his playing ability.

Doc Rivers says no specific minutes limit for Paul George in his return

Paul George

Paul George on Thursday night will make his debut for the LA Clippers after being acquired by them in a trade with the Oklahoma City Thunder over the summer. For his first game, George will not have a specific minutes limit, though that does not necessarily mean he will be playing 48 minutes.

Clippers head coach Doc Rivers said before the team’s game against the New Orleans Pelicans that they will use more of an eye test to judge when George needs some rest.

George missed the team’s first 11 games as he recovered from a pair of offseason shoulder surgeries. He had operations on both shoulders, and the Clippers knew he was unlikely to be ready for the start of the season.

George’s return will come as good timing for the Clippers, who will be without Kawhi Leonard, who is resting his knee.