It has been nearly two-and-a-half years since Paul George was traded by the Pacers to the Thunder, but fans in Indiana still booed George – now on Clipper – on Monday whenever he touched the ball, as if this was his first game back, writes Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN. George, who said he wasn’t surprised by being booed, also hinted that the full story of his departure from Indiana still hasn’t come out.
“You know, someday I’ll do a tell-all and tell the leading events of how I left Indiana,” George said. “And I promise you, I’m not the one to boo.
“… I’m not gonna share the teaser,” George later said. “… I like being the villain. I’m here two nights out of the year. The people they should boo is here a lot longer than I am.”
The George trade was one of the first major moves made by Kevin Pritchard, who became Indiana’s head of basketball operations during the spring of 2017. While George implied on Monday that the Pacers franchise may be partially to blame for the circumstances surrounding that trade, he declined to criticize Pritchard, as Youngmisuk notes.
“I’m not going to bad-mouth KP,” George said when told that Pritchard said George’s trade request felt like a punch in the gut. “That’s just Kevin’s side of the story.”
Here’s more from around the East:
- Howard Beck of Bleacher Report recently reported that Raptors president of basketball operations Masai Ujiri turned down a lucrative extension offer, but Michael Grange of Sportsnet.ca hears from sources that the offer didn’t happen. Still, Grange wouldn’t be surprised if Ujiri is interested in testing the “free agent” market at some point, and believes the Knicks could be a real threat to lure him away from Toronto.
- The Heat would have had serious interest in Bradley Beal if the Wizards had made him available in trade talks or if he had reached free agency in 2021. Instead, Beal re-upped with Washington, signing a two-year extension earlier this year. Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald caught up with Beal to ask the Wizards’ star whether he considered the possibility of a move to the Heat before inking that new deal. Beal’s answer? “Yes and no.” Jackson has the full story and quotes.
- Steve Bulpett of The Boston Herald explains why the Celtics shouldn’t be viewed as a potential suitor for Cavaliers forward Kevin Love, who is reportedly on the trade block.