In perhaps one of the more surprising moves of the NBA offseason, Paul George made the decision to stay with OKC. Some of us still don’t get it. After all, the Los Angeles Lakers were right there. But George made his choice. And more than that, he apparently upset the Lakers in the process.
“L.A. was pissed at me,” George said on the Short Story Long podcast.
But it’s not because he didn’t sign with them. It stems from something even earlier than that. In the end, George didn’t even bother with a meeting.
“I didn’t give Magic (Johnson) a meeting, which I understand. But at that point, I knew I wanted to give it another shot. I didn’t want to prolong it and waste people’s time.”
Well gosh, that sounds downright… reasonable. Why waste time with another team when you know where you want to be? Why give them that hope? It’s probably more that the Lakers feel as though players owe them the courtesy of a meeting. After all, they’re the Lakers. And nobody says no to the Lakers.
*puts finger to earpiece*
That’s what free agency is all about, isn’t it? George had a choice to make; his own choice. And at the end of the day, he wanted to try again with Russell Westbrook in Oklahoma City. In his first season with the Thunder, George put up 21.6 points, 5.6 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 2.0 steals per 36 minutes.
“Coming down to free agency, I didn’t want to waste any time,” George continues. “I wanted to give it another shot. I gave them one year. We played well against the best teams. I wanted to give it a real shot.”
However, George and the Thunder would lose to the Utah Jazz in six games in the first round of the playoffs. That doesn’t exactly bode well for the future. The Golden State Warriors are looking to three-peat. We haven’t forgotten about the Houston Rockets, have we? And now the Lakers have LeBron James. We’re not saying George made the wrong choice, we’re just saying that it’s going to be difficult to win anything with OKC.
That still doesn’t mean he was required to give the Lakers a meeting, though.