Paul George has been at the center of the headlines lately, with Jared Dudley being the latest in a long line of players to call out the Clippers star for his apparently over-inflated ego. Since his trade to the Thunder years ago, his reputation amongst the media and fans has taken a hit.
George, fighting back against the haters, is doing everything he can to quell the noise and let his game do the talking for him.
Still, the conversation about PG's status as a league elite continues, and ESPN Max Kellerman took a bold stance on it in a segment on First Take.
"Paul George is not an MVP-caliber player and we all know it. Not quite at that level. NOt a five-star, a four-and-a-half-star. And those guys, if they're gonna be Robins to Batmans, they're gonna be the main support to the superstar. Βetter yet, if he's supposed to be the other superstar, and he's not quite an MVP, he's got to elevate when it matters most.
Paul George is a really nice guy, a good dude. But we keep hearing the same thing. Was it resentment towards Kawhi for the special treatment? What keeps coming back to me, is that what people resented was that Paul George was given that same special treatment, because they felt he, in particular, does not have that status."
The biggest evidence for Kellerman's case is the fact that he's never been past the Conference Finals once in his 10-year career. As a lone man in Indiana, he failed to lead the Pacers to a title, just as he failed to do in OKC and then again in Los Angeles last season.
And while the L.A. swingman is one of the best two-way players in the game, there are those who firmly believe he's more of a sidekick than he is an MVP-caliber type of player -- which might be why so many have a problem when he talks like one. It was one of the big points illustrated in Jared Dudley's new book.
Regardless, though, if PG wants to prove them all wrong, he's going to have to step up in a huge way for the Clippers, and lead them to their first-ever NBA Championship.