Paul George’s goal is to be MVP next season

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Paul George’s career was on a skyrocket trajectory until just about one year ago. It was there, in an exhibition game for Team USA he tried a chase down block, landed at the base of the basket stanchion and his leg snapped in as gruesome an injury as you are ever going to see on a basketball court.

George will be back and fully healthy next season — and he wants to continue that trajectory just where it left off

George is in China selling the Nike brand and meeting with the many Pacers fans in that country — yes, Pacers China is a thing — and he told those fans that his plans for his career arc have not changed due to his injury. They are just delayed (hat tip to the IndyStar).

“After being draft into the NBA, I was playing from the bench and then tried to be a starter, then an All-Star. My goal now is set to be MVP. This year, that hasn’t changed,” George told fans at a Beijing Nike store.

What did you expect him to say? He’s a competitor; he’s not going to say anything less.

For the good of the NBA, I hope George has a bounce-back season. I hope we see a guy that hasn’t lost a step.

But the MVP award traditionally goes to the best player on a 50+ win team that is a contender, and the Pacers are not that. As well as George may play, this team is transitioning from big, lumbering and defensive to smaller and offensive-minded. Monta Ellis and George will be entertaining to watch together, but they are not lifting this team up to the NBA’s elite. Making the playoffs in the East seems a more reasonable goal, and one they may not fulfill.