Prior to taking his talents to the Los Angeles Clippers and Oklahoma City Thunder, Paul George was the face of the Indiana Pacers. His tenure with the franchise didn’t end on bad terms, but the All-Star forward recently revealed the reason as to why he wanted out.
George recently appeared on the Knuckleheads podcast with Quentin Richardson and Darius Miles. During their discussion, George shared behind-the-scene details regarding his time with the Pacers.
According to George, the best power forward around the 2016 season wanted to play for Indiana. However, the front office didn’t think it could afford that unnamed player since the team plays in a small market. That ultimately led to George requesting a trade.
“I had the best power forward at the time say he wanted to come to Indy and team up with me,” George said. “They [the Pacers] were like ‘We are a small market, we can’t do it. We can’t afford it.’ After that phone call, I called my agent and was like ‘Man, get me up out of here. They don’t want to win.'”
Paul George says he had at the time, the best PF in the NBA ready to team up with him in Indiana
"They didn’t want to do it . . . I called my agent like, 'Man, get me up outta here. They don’t want to win.'"
— NBA Central (@TheNBACentral) June 23, 2020
Basketball fans are speculating as to who that unnamed player could be. The most-likely candidates are LaMarcus Aldridge, Blake Griffin and Kevin Love.
This story probably won’t sit well with Pacers fans, especially because George was arguably the best player the franchise had since Reggie Miller.
Unfortunately with the way the NBA revolves around big-market teams, it’s tough for places like Indiana to build a powerhouse. On the other hand, general managers running teams in small markets cannot be afraid to make a big splash.