Paul George hasn't been shy about putting himself in the uppermost tier of basketball players. Even amid criticisms, and a resume that is missing several key accolades, the star shooting guard oozes with confidence -- and boasts ego that spans the width of the planet.
A few weeks ago, George openly admitted to enjoying preferential treatment from the Clippers, citing that "it's a reason" why certain people put in the work to get to a high level. Of course, he has also talked himself up multiple times over the pasts few months alone, talking about addressing his haters and "answering" to those who enjoyed his failures last season.
No matter your feelings on Paul George, it's clear the guy is not afraid to speak loudly and boldly -- and, to some, it ribs the wrong way.
In a book he co-wrote with Carvell Wallace of New York Times Magazine, Lakers forward Jared Dudley spoke about how his team takes issue with the way George speaks as if he's on the same level as LeBron or Davis without having ever won a Championship.
"We don’t talk to people on other teams. As far as we’re concerned, our squad is the only squad. We know that there are some real feelings regarding the Clippers. It’s more than just battle-for-LA stuff, though that’s part of it. Every day when we were on the outside, we were all driving past billboards with Kawhi Leonard wearing a crown. In our city. We didn’t like that. We hear some of those guys talking about how they’re the team to beat in LA. It’s fine if Kawhi says stuff like that. He’s defending a championship. We don’t trip if someone like Patrick Beverley is talking trash; that’s how he feeds his family. We get it. We respect the hustle.
But we think it’s disrespectful for Paul George, who hasn’t won, to put himself on the level of Bron and AD. This motivates us,” Dudley wrote. “When we see those guys around the compound, we don’t really kick it with them. The one exception of course is Markieff [Morris], whose twin brother, Marcus, is on the Clippers. This probably keeps tensions from boiling over.”
Coming from the reigning Champs, it's not very surprising that they would take issues with PG and his arguably unfounded level of confidence.
But even PG's own teammates seem to have had some issues with him, as several reports throughout the past two seasons have revealed.
This season, the L.A. swingman is having a pretty phenomenal campaign, averaging 23.7 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 5.4 assists per game on 49.8% shooting. His team is also doing extremely well, with a record of 16-6. By all accounts,s he's well on his way to a significant career milestone.
But until he closes on a title, nobody will take him seriously as a true superstar in this league, especially if he continues to talk like one.