Paul George, who can hit free agency after the season, has been linked to the Lakers for years and all the chatter over the offseason resulted in Los Angeles absorbing a $500K fine for violating the league’s anti-tampering rules.
George previously described the talk of his desire to play in Los Angeles as “overstated,” while maintaining that winning is the top priority. Today, he told the media that he has no regrets about discussing the Lakers and reiterated that he’s not solely focused on playing in his home state.
“No, no regrets at all. All that was said was that a destination I would love to go to,” George said (via NBA.com). “There wasn’t, you know, a ‘hey, gunpoint to the head, send me here.’ I just stated somewhere that I wanted to go play. You ask 80, 70 percent of the guys in the league if they would love to go back home and play for their city, play for their home, that’s all I stated. I would have loved to go back home and play for my city.”
George also briefly touched upon the deal that sent him to the Thunder during the media session. “I thought this trade that went down was a win-win for both sides,” the small forward added. Oklahoma City sent out Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis to the Pacers to bring PG13 to town.
George, who was a huge fan of Los Angeles and Kobe Bryant growing up, will play the Lakers in the Staples Center for the first and only time this season on Wednesday, as the Thunder will not make another trip to the city to take on Magic Johnson’s squad.