Paul George on Not Meeting with Lakers: “I Didn’t Want to Prolong It”

Paul George with OKC. Photo by Jevone Moore/Cal Sport Media/CSM/REX/Shutterstock

Paul George made one of the most surprising decisions in this summer’s free agency when he opted to stay with the Oklahoma City Thunder. He even refused to meet with other NBA teams including the Los Angeles Lakers, his hometown team and presumed favorite to sign him.

Now, speaking on the Short Story Long podcast, the 28-year-old All-Star decided to explain the reasons for refusing a meeting with the Lakers.

L.A. was pissed at me” – said George. “I didn’t give Magic [Johnson] a meeting, which I understand. But at that point, I knew I wanted to give it another shot [in Oklahoma City]. I didn’t want to prolong it and waste people’s time.

According to Paul George, he saw more positives than negatives in his single season with Thunder and decided it was worth sticking around.

Coming down to free agency, I didn’t want to waste any time,” – he added. “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.

In the summer of 2017, Paul George informed his Indiana Pacers that he won’t resign with the team and that he prefers a move to the Los Angeles Lakers. Despite his desire, Thunder decided to take a gamble and send Victor Oladipo and Domantis Sabonis to Pacers in exchange for George.

OKC showed flashes of being a great team in the last season, but the team didn’t end the year on a high note, losing to the Utah Jazz in six games in the first round of the NBA playoffs. After this, many people thought that Thunder’s chances to re-sign Paul George went from slim to none after this, but he managed to surprise them all.

In the past season, George averaged 21.9 points, 5.7 rebounds, 3.3 assists per game.