Indiana Pacers rookie Paul George's blog
You know Paul George is an athletically gifted 6-10 forward from Fresno State. You know he was selected No. 10 overall in the 2010 NBA Draft by the Indiana Pacers. You know he can handle, shoot the three and dunk like it's a video game. What you don't know is what life is really like for a rookie living thousands of miles from his hometown dealing with the adjustments to the life, lifestyle and grind of professional athletics. This blog offers a peek into Paul's world, and we hope you enjoy.
Christmas a special holiday, even without family
Dec. 22, 2010
This is going to be my first Christmas away from family.
Traditionally, everybody goes over to my grandmother's place in Palmdale (Calif.) and that's where we all exchange presents. Everybody has a huge gathering at my grandma's. I talked to my family and they're pretty torn about me not being able to be there but it's part of me growing up and being on my own now.
I've still got to get a Christmas tree and some other stuff. I've got no decorations at all. We've been on the road a lot. Me and my buddy will get a tree and light it up and try to celebrate Christmas with each other.
The best thing about this experience is this will be my first white Christmas ever. I've never played in the snow so we might get out and do a little snowball fighting.
As far as driving in the snow and ice, I'm doing pretty good. I had one experience where I did a little sliding but that's it. I learned from it.
I was coming out of the gas station and I sped up a little to get out of the parking lot, trying to beat the traffic and I guess there was some black ice or something because my tail kind of just slid out. I didn't hit anything so I was safe but now I understand you can't mash the gas. And next time, I'll just wait for the traffic to go by.
As far as presents, I won't be getting any from the family till we go back out there on our West Coast trip in January when we play the Clippers. This way, it'll be easier for them. If they tried to send anything now, it would take until January to get here so they might as well wait.
I put all my shopping pressure on my dad. I sent him some money to take care of the family, so it's up to Pops to hold me down.
Some people try not to think about Christmas if they're not around their family but I can't do that because it's such a special holiday.
I think it would be more depressing if I tried to avoid it. I've just got to take the loss. I'm sure I'm not the only one that's been through the experience of not being with their family.
I'm just fortunate to have my teammates and friends around me for Christmas. I'll take it as a win that way.
First long road trip an interesting experience
Dec. 7, 2010
We just got back from our first long road trip of the season and it was an interesting experience.
Our first game was in L.A. so it was a chance to go home. We had kind of a little celebration because I haven't seen a lot of the family since the season started. It was a little gathering, had a lot of family over and everyone went to see me and I had a lot of people come out to watch the game.
I had about 20 to 30 people come out, I mean high school teachers, a little bit of everybody. That's just how big my community is back home. It's not easy to get extra tickets for a Lakers game. I bought 10 tickets. But a lot of other people were supportive and they bought their own tickets.
At first my dad was like, 'You know you've got 20-30 people coming.' And I said, 'You know I'm only paying for 10.' So he let everybody know and that made it easier for me, especially since I wasn't playing. It was tough buying tickets and they didn't even get to see me play.
It was tough not playing that night. That was definitely a game that I circled but it turned out how it did. I'll have my chance eventually. And we do come back to L.A. next month to play the Clippers (on Jan. 17).
From L.A., we headed to Sacramento. Even though that was my first time there, Fresno State is not too far away so I had some supporters, a few people I knew that drove over for the game.
I just enjoyed the experience of being on the road and growing from it. I think we played pretty well to go 2-2 and we played some tough games. I thought we grew as a team to win those games on the road.
It's hard to win on the road in this league because teams are a lot more comfortable on their home court. It's an additional challenge to beat a team with their fans and support, so that brings a little extra adversity to every game.