Paul George has been a controversial star these past few years. Whether it was the consistent trade requests or the underperformance in the playoffs, Paul George gained a lot of new critics. While some criticisms of him may be warranted, no one can fault Paul George for wanting to play for a competitive franchise. George went to the Los Angeles Clippers to team up with Kawhi Leonard. That move can be explained by an immense motivation to win a championship.
On the All The Smoke podcast, Paul George tells the truth about him leaving the Indiana Pacers. The conversation on the subject starts around the 30:00 mark.
Paul George states that while the organization has “good people”, they never truly wanted to win. That is signified by the front office refusing to acquire Anthony Davis, something that Paul George says he pushed for. This isn’t the first time this has been reported: in June, there were some similar reports about the Pacers not wanting to pull a risky move to build a superteam.
While one can understand not wanting to gut your long term future from a franchise’s perspective, stars want to win championships. If what Paul George says is accurate, then the Pacers had a chance to build something special in Indiana. Perhaps if they were more willing to risk it to win, they could have won a championship.
There are always risks associated with trades and acquisitions: a player could get injured and they could leave in free agency. But if a team has the potential to put two superstars who are willing to play together on their roster, then they should always do it. Especially superstars who were in their prime.
While we may speculate on what would have happened in Indiana and how competitive they can get, it seems that both Paul George and Anthony Davis are happily stationed in Los Angeles, albeit on two different franchises.