All we have heard about all summer is that Paul George is definitely going to the Los Angeles Lakers. Heck, we’ve heard about it earlier than that.
That’s what forced the Indiana Pacers to make the trade to send George to the Oklahoma City Thunder where he is now teammate of both Russell Westbrook and Carmelo Anthony.
But NBA Media Day was on Monday, and with it brought not only first interviews of new players but the platitudes that fans want to hear as well.
Speaking to reporters in Oklahoma City, George said that he thought the Thunder had done much that they had needed to do to show him they were a place that he could stay.
Via USA Today:
“Honestly, I’m happy,” he said. “The only thing I wanted out of Indiana was a chance to win my whole career there…That’s really what I want out of this, out of the league. I’m not looking for money. I’m not looking for stats. I want to win, and (to) be able to win at a high level.
“It’s Year One, and (the Thunder have) proven – and I haven’t even gone through a season yet – and they’ve already proven everything on my check list (that) I can check off. That’s what feels good. That’s what makes me feel like, ‘Hey, this can be a landing spot for me, and somewhere I can call home for years.’”
George also told USA Today that winning was above anything else, including joining his hometown team in the Lakers. We’ve heard this from players before, so take it with a grain of salt, but it does appear that the Thunder have a shot of keeping the former Pacers star if George is to be believed.
Of course, Oklahoma City still has some work to do in terms of winning games. There are some serious doubts about the roster they have now with three high usage players that will struggle to find a way to share the ball efficiently.
The Western Conference got a lot tougher this offseason, and both Anthony and George were a part of that. But the other teams have stiffened and appear to have better roster fit at the moment. Thats before we even get to the 2017 NBA Finals champion Golden State Warriors.
LeBron James says that he is going to be finishing his career in Cleveland. George says that the Thunder have a real shot at keeping him. We will have to play out this season to see if either of those things come true.