When Paul George found out he was being traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder, the All-Star swingman knew he had to do some due diligence about the new city and franchise he was joining.
After seven seasons with the Indiana Pacers, George’s new basketball chapter brings him to a place many NBA players say is the best home crowd to play in front of.
Oklahoma City is a lot like a college town. The fans are loyal, demonstrative and always pack the house at Chesapeake Energy Arena.
George is aware that the Thunder’s culture is going to be vastly different from the Pacers’, and while Russell Westbrook and George do have a brief rapport with one another, PG is arriving to OKC without a prior relationship with general manager Sam Presti or the rest of the Thunder’s brass.
So, George turned to his pal and former OKC great, Kevin Durant, for advice on what to expect in Oklahoma City.
George, in an exclusive interview with Sports Illustrated, says that Durant had nothing but positive things to say about the Thunder organization and endorsed Oklahoma City to him.
“KD was like, ‘That place will blow you away,’” George says. “He told me, ‘They can offer what other teams can’t in terms of the people and the preparation and the facility, down to the chefs and the meals.’ He was pretty high on them. He thought it was a first-class organization in every way.”
Durant, of course, left the Thunder on bad terms by joining the rival Golden State Warriors. He has never spoken about OKC in a negative light, though, so it’s not a surprise Durant raved about the organization when George asked.