Paul George says the Los Angeles Lakers were upset with him for not taking a meeting with them in free agency.
George was strongly linked to the Lakers for more than a year, but he decided to re-sign with the Oklahoma City Thunder on a four-year deal.
“LA was pissed at me,” George said on the Short Story Long podcast. “I didn’t give Magic [Johnson] a meeting, which I understand. But at that point, I knew I wanted to give it another shot [in Oklahoma City]. I didn’t want to prolong it and waste people’s time.”
For the last two years, all we heard was that George was intent on going home and playing for the Lakers once he entered the open market. After the Thunder lost to the Utah Jazz in the first round of the 2018 playoffs, many surmised there was no way George would go back to OKC since the club underwhelmed.
That turned out not to be the case, as the Thunder did a great job of selling George on a future in OKC and the All-Star swingman liked playing with Russell Westbrook and Steven Adams and for head coach Billy Donovan.
“Coming down to free agency, I didn’t want to waste any time,” George said on the podcast. “I wanted to give it another shot. I gave them one year. We played well against the best teams. I wanted to give it a real shot.”
In his first season with the Thunder, George averaged 21.9 points during the regular season, while shooting 43.0 percent from the field and 40.1 percent from beyond the arc. He underwent a scope procedure on his left knee and had 18 to 20 ounces of fluid drained from his right elbow this summer, but will be ready for training camp in September.