* Wednesday on ESPN: Thunder vs. Lakers (10:30 ET)
Last season, trade rumors followed Paul George wherever he seemed to go. His desire to be dealt from the Indiana Pacers grew to a head in the summer, as reports circulated that George, a Palmdale, Calif., native, sought a trip back home to play for the Los Angeles Lakers.
George would ultimately end up being traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder in one of the offseason's biggest deals. After that move was consummated, George spoke with Sports Illustrated's Lee Jenkins and called talk of his desire to eventually play for the Lakers 'overstated.' Ultimately, the Lakers were hit with a $500,000 fine for violating the NBA's anti-tampering rules which centered on George coming home to L.A. when he becomes a free agent next summer.
Today, George talked about all that chatter surrounding himself and the Lakers, most of which came to the forefront when he was with the Pacers. In hindsight, George says, he doesn't regret talk of L.A. being among his potential destination teams.
"No, no regrets at all. All that was said was that a destination I would love to go to," George said. "There wasn't, you know, a ‘hey, gunpoint to the head, send me here.’ I just stated somewhere that I wanted to go play. You ask 80, 70 percent of the guys in the league if they would love to go back home and play for their city, play for their home, that's all I stated. I would have loved to go back home and play for my city.
"So, no regrets at all. I thought this trade that went down was a win-win for both sides."
Pretty candid stuff from Paul George about L.A. with Lakers and Clippers coming up. Says he has no regrets about Lakers popping up as trade destination when he was with Pacers: pic.twitter.com/1j2bqmRc8m— Erik Horne (@ErikHorneOK) January 2, 2018
Paul George on if he regrets naming the Lakers as a desired destination before the Pacers dealt him: “It wasn’t gunpoint to the head. Send me here. I just stated somewhere I wanted to go play...No regrets at all. I thought this trade that went down was a win-win.” pic.twitter.com/U8jqUBhPRa— Fred Katz (@FredKatz) January 2, 2018
George starred at Fresno State and, as a youngster, rooted for the Los Angeles Lakers and their former star, Kobe Bryant. The Thunder visit the Lakers on Wednesday night.