Paul George: Oklahoma City ‘feels like home’

13 Comments

The Lakers have been one of the worst teams over the last few years. They’re probably too young to improve much next season. Luol Deng‘s contract gets in the way of clearing cap space for two max free agents next summer.

But they’re Paul George‘s hometown team.

That, with the intertangled fact of playing in a huge market, was always going to be their biggest selling point in the George sweepstakes.

They might not hold exclusive rights on that hometown feeling, though. (And I’m not talking about the Clippers.)

Oklahoma City fans enthusiastically greeted George at the airport, and the Thunder made him feel even more welcome before his introductory press conference.

George:

It’s been awesome. It’s really been awesome. You can’t script this up any other way of saying that this has really been an unbelievable trip here. I’ve been wild ever since we landed. I got a real welcoming, and this feels like home.

George also said all the expected things about focusing on this season, not free agency. And I believe him. Why rush this choice before it must be made? George will spend the season forming his opinion of the Thunder. There’s much more to assess than day one.

A key question: How will George play with Russell Westbrook? Working off the ball-dominant point guard was sometimes difficult for Oklahoma City’s last star forward, Kevin Durant, who spoke to George after the trade.

It sounds as if George is trying to keep an open mind.

George:

What KD and Russ had, from my understanding, was nothing major. Guys, brothers necessarily – you fight. This is a job where you want the best out of everybody, and you’re going to bump heads. That’s as far as I know – and as far as I care to know – about their relationship.

But George isn’t entering the season with a completely blank slate. He’s already forming impressions of Oklahoma City, clearly positive ones.

It’ll still matter how the Thunder and Lakers – and other potential suitors – play this year. It’ll still matter whether the Lakers can clear cap room to sign two stars without infringing on their young core.

But, at this point in its year-long recruitment of George, Oklahoma City should feel as optimistic as can be.

DMV in Cleveland tapes a photo of LeBron to their camera to stop people smiling

Getty
1 Comment

A trip to the DMV is never at the top of anyone’s list of ways to spend an afternoon. Still, it’s a necessary evil of adult life.

The DMV is a place for rules, one of the most common ones is that you are not allowed to smile in your picture for your driver’s license. In Cleveland, the DMV there has decided to make a small alteration to their camera setup to ensure that citizens follow this rule.

Specifically, they taped a photo of LeBron James in a Los Angeles Lakers jersey to the camera that takes the driver’s license photos.

Via Twitter:

At least for this year, putting a photo of LeBron on a camera at the DMV in the Cleveland should keep straight faces on people getting their photo taken. However, seeing as the Cavaliers probably won’t be very good moving forward, it might be just as easy to tape a photo of the team logo up there.

It appears that everyone is upset about Lebron leaving for the LA.

DeMar DeRozan with classy goodbye to Toronto fans

Getty Images
Leave a comment

DeMar DeRozan did not want to be traded from the Raptors.

He will eventually warm to San Antonio and the Spurs, but for a franchise that has seen star after star push their way out of town — Chris Bosh, Vince Carter, Damon Stoudamire, and on down the list — DeRozan was the one guy who embraced the city, repped it, and not only said he wanted to stay but did just that. DeRozan was all in on Toronto and loyal, and they shipped him out anyway. It may well have been the right basketball move, but it was cold. And a lot of Raptors fans were not happy about how it went down.

DeRozan, classy as always, thanked the Raptors fans in a heartfelt Instagram post.

Someday they will retire DeRozan’s jersey in Toronto. Deservedly so.

LeBron James loves fan made NBA 2K video of him playing with son for Lakers

Getty Images
4 Comments

LeBron James has been up front about this before: He wants to play with his son LeBron Jr. for a couple of years in the NBA before retiring. That son, about to enter ninth grade, would graduate in 2022 — the year the NBA is expected to go back to allowing teams to draft players out of high school, and the year LeBron’s Laker contract ends.

(Does LeBron Jr. want this? Of course he’ll say publicly he does, but would you want your dad with you in the locker room and on the road with you when you’re an NBA rookie finally out of the house and able to explore life a little?)

Taking that to the next step, Twitter user @Shady00018 pieced together an NBA 2K mixtape of LeBron playing with his son. LeBron saw it and LOVED it.

We’re a long way from that, but you know LeBron wants it to happen.

Here’s a first look at Kawhi Leonard, DeMar DeRozan in new jerseys, via NBA 2K

AP
1 Comment

Kawhi Leonard is a member of the Toronto Raptors now. There’s no way of getting around it. Even with rumors swirling about whether or not he will be happy in Canada, the truth is that we have already seen some embrace of Leonard in the six.

Likewise, DeMar DeRozan is a member of the San Antonio Spurs whether he likes it or not. Now, each have been seen for the first time in their new jerseys.

The only catch? It’s via a video game.

2K Games decided to tweet out new rendered images of both players in their respective jerseys. To be honest, I don’t think they look all that bad.

Via Twitter:

It’s going to feel a bit like a real life franchise mode of NBA 2K19 when we see these guys on the court in their new kits next season. But eventually we will get used to it, much in the way we will no doubt get used to LeBron James in a Los Angeles Lakers jersey or Tony Parker in a Charlotte Hornets jersey.

We’re going to have the matchup between the Raptors and the Spurs circled on our calendar next year. That is, if Leonard ends up playing in it. There still might be some doubts in that department.