The rumors about George heading to L.A. won’t go away because, well, he started them
LeBron James famously “came home” in 2014 to rejoin the Cleveland Cavaliers. Dwyane Wade did the same when he signed with his hometown Chicago Bulls in the summer of 2016. Those examples are partly why Oklahoma City Thunder forward Paul George sees nothing wrong with letting it be known that he’d like to play for the Los Angeles Lakers.
George, who grew up in the L.A. area, reportedly had his agent tell the Pacers in June that he would not re-sign with the team after opting out of his contract and becoming a free agent in the summer of 2018. He also reportedly mentioned that he would eventually like to join the Lakers. George essentially forced Indiana into trading their All-Star, though they chose to send him to the Thunder for Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis instead of dealing him to the Lakers.
As the Thunder prepare to take on the Lakers in L.A. on Wednesday, George said he has no regrets about the way he handled things.
“All that was said was that (was) a destination I would love to go to,” George said. “There wasn’t, you know, a ‘Hey, gunpoint to the head, send me here.’ I just stated somewhere that I wanted to go play. You ask 80, 70 percent of the guys in the league if they would love to go back home and play for their city, play for their home. That’s all I stated.
“I would have loved to go back home and play for my city. So, no regrets at all. No regrets at all. I thought this trade that went down was a win-win for both sides.”
Winners of seven of their last 10 games, the Thunder are beginning to establish themselves as a threat in the West, but that hasn’t stopped the George-to-Los Angeles talk one bit. The 27-year-old is still expected to opt out of his contract this summer, and many anticipate that the Lakers will receive heavy consideration.