After months of speculation and rumors, Paul George was finally traded from Indiana to the Oklahoma City, where he will team with reigning NBA MVP Russell Westbrook.
But will Westbrook and the Thunder be enough for George to stay in OKC? Or is this just another stop on his way to LA?
After all, anyone with a keyboard has typed George will join for the Lakers next summer, when he can become an unrestricted free agent.
Not so fast, George hinted to future Hall-of-Fame reporter Lee Jenkins in a wide-ranging piece for Sports Illustrated.
“I grew up a Lakers and a Clippers fan,” George said. “I idolized Kobe [Bryant]. There will always be a tie here, a connection here. People saying I want to come here, who doesn’t want to play for their hometown? That’s a dream come true, if you’re a kid growing up on the outskirts of L.A., to be the man in your city.
“But it’s definitely been overstated.”
George added: “For me, it’s all about winning. I want to be in a good system, a good team. I want a shot to win it. I’m not a stats guy. I’m playing this game to win and build a legacy of winning. I’ve yet to do that. I’m searching for it. If we get a killer season in Oklahoma, we make the conference finals or upset the Warriors or do something crazy, I’d be dumb to want to leave that.”
George also told Jenkins he’s excited about playing with Westbrook.
“I’m thrilled,” he told SI. “All I was asking for was a little help in Indy. Now I’m getting a lot of help in Oklahoma. … I think I fit with how he plays and vice versa. Being a knock-down shooter, I think I can spread the floor for him and run the floor with him. But I also think I can help get him easier opportunities, being able to drive and dish the ball out, so he can attack guys closing out on him.”
Bottom line? So far, it sounds as if George is no hurry to move on from OKC.