INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - The man who helped the Pacers get to the NBA Eastern Conference Finals not once, but twice is back with his new team.
Paul George, Indiana’s first round draft pick in 2010 who grew into an NBA All-Star, asked for and was granted a trade last summer. His Oklahoma City Thunder will meet the Pacers tonight at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in a return that brings mixed feelings.
“Good emotions,” said George, speaking to a large media gathering at the Thunder shootaround at Bankers Life Fieldhouse late Wednesday morning. “ I had a chance to see a lot of people that I know and grew up with around here, for myself, it was a great reception coming in here.”
George was asked about possibly being booed when he’s introduced before tonight’s game.
“I’m in my comfort zone when I’m on the court,” said George. “I may be nervous off the court being booed, but on the court I’m in my comfort zone. It’s basketball. I’m not losing sleep over it, because I’m living the dream playing basketball. If I get booed, I get booed. It’ll make for a good show and I’m looking forward to it.”
Pacers fans feel like they got the best end of the trade with OKC when former IU star Victor Oladipo and young rebounder Domantas Sabonis arrived for George. George said he’s happy for Oladipo and is tired of all the comparisons.
As for any regrets?
“I think both sides, myself and the Pacers would have liked to handle things better. I for want to take ownership for that, but I have no regrets on the outcome,” said George. “The thing I’ll remember most? Helping put up those (Eastern Conference finalist) banners with those teams. That’s what I’ll remember most, those teams that helped put those banners up.”
George and the Thunder will meet the Pacers before a sellout crowd tonight at 7 p.m. at the Fieldhouse.