NBA

I like being the villain - Paul George revels in hostile reception on Indiana return

By Sports Desk December 10, 2019

Paul George had no problem with being booed by Indiana Pacers fans as he led the Los Angeles Clippers to victory on Monday, but suggested they should direct their vitriol closer to home.

George spent seven years with the Pacers before leaving for Oklahoma City Thunder in 2017.

The 29-year-old switched Oklahoma for LA in the offseason, joining the Clippers along with Kawhi Leonard, who led the Toronto Raptors to the championship last season.

Six-time All-Star George was the star of the show for the Clippers on Monday, scoring 36 points and nine rebounds in a 110-99 triumph in Indianapolis.

He was also the recipient of boos and jeers throughout, yet he claimed the Pacers' fans are targeting the wrong person.

"I'm not surprised," George told reporters. "That's Indiana for you. It's a Hoosier thing.

"You know, someday I'll do a tell-all and tell the leading events of how I left Indiana and I promise you, I'm not the one to boo.

"I'm not gonna share the teaser, I like being the villain. I'm here two nights out of the year. The people that boo are here a lot longer than I am."

Asked to elaborate further, George stated he had nothing negative to say about Kevin Pritchard, who had said George's trade request in 2017 "was like a punch to the gut".

"You're getting close to trying to get this story out, aren't you?" George said. "I'm not going to bad-mouth KP. That's just Kevin's side of the story."

Clippers coach Doc Rivers, meanwhile, acknowledged he had been surprised at the level of hostility George received.

"Yeah, I was shocked," Rivers told reporters. "I really was. I was ill-equipped. It was offensive to me.

"But I was unprepared for that, I didn't know it was bad feelings and it was lingering. Obviously it was."

The Clippers are next in action on Wednesday, when it will be Leonard's turn to make a return to his former team the Raptors, and George is anticipating a markedly different reception.

"The opposite of what it was like [Monday]," he said.

Related items

  • Mavs fans must appreciate 'walking bucket' Doncic - Melo Mavs fans must appreciate 'walking bucket' Doncic - Melo

    Luka Doncic is a "walking bucket" and the Dallas Mavericks fans should really appreciate being able to watch him, according to Carmelo Anthony.

    Last season's Rookie of the Year Doncic made a career-high eight three-pointers and had 35 points, eight rebounds and seven assists as the Mavs defeated the Portland Trail Blazers 120-112 at American Airlines Center on Friday.

    Anthony had 22 points for the Blazers, who slipped to an 18-25 record and sit 2.5 games back of the playoff positions in the Western Conference.

    When the 10-time All-Star was informed Doncic had referred to him as a "walking bucket", he returned the compliment.

    Anthony continued: "As far as Luka goes, he's gonna be in this league for a long time.

    "He's a young player and he's gonna get better and better. For years to come we're gonna to be watching a special player.

    "I hope you guys out here in Dallas really appreciate what you have in front of you right now."

    Anthony, who in November joined the Blazers after nine months without a team having been waived by the Chicago Bulls following his trade from the Houston Rockets, became the 18th player to reach 26,000 career points when he scored a free throw in the first quarter in Dallas.

    "This is a situation where I've always continued to believe in myself and I think with that being the case I'm able to still go out there and perform the way I want to be able to perform and enjoy the game again," he said.

    "I think people understand the situation I was in, but most important I think people understand the type of person I am. When you have that organic natural energy, people pick up on those vibes."

    Portland lost CJ McCollum to a left ankle sprain in the second quarter and he did not return to the game. It is unclear if he will be fit to face the Oklahoma City Thunder on Saturday.

    "Usually, the second day is the worst," McCollum said. "So we'll see how it feels [on Saturday]. Get some treatment, try to compress it and see how it feels."

  • Doncic lifts Mavericks, Hawks end San Antonio wait Doncic lifts Mavericks, Hawks end San Antonio wait

    Luka Doncic starred once more for the Dallas Mavericks, while the Atlanta Hawks ended a long wait in San Antonio in the NBA.

    Doncic's 35 points, eight rebounds and seven assists guided the Mavericks past the Portland Trail Blazers 120-112 on Friday.

    He got plenty of support from Tim Hardaway Jr., who chipped in with 29 points as the Mavericks improved to 27-15.

    Damian Lillard poured in 34 points for the Trail Blazers, while Hassan Whiteside had a double-double of 21 points and 18 rebounds.

    The Hawks recorded their first win in San Antonio since 1997 thanks to a 121-120 victory over the Spurs.

    Trae Young posted 31 points, while Kevin Huerter hit a three-pointer with seven seconds remaining for the game-winner.

    Simmons shines as Raptors crush Wizards

    Ben Simmons finished with 20 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists in the Philadelphia 76ers' 100-89 win over the Chicago Bulls.

    Norman Powell (28 points) and Terence Davis (23) led the Toronto Raptors past the Washington Wizards 140-111.

    Jimmy Butler had 14 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists in the Miami Heat's 115-108 victory against the Oklahoma City Thunder.

     

    Dunn struggles

    Kris Dunn failed to score a point, going 0-for-three from the field in 15 minutes in the Bulls' loss.

     

    Morant magic

    Ja Morant delivered a huge dunk in the Memphis Grizzlies' win over the Cleveland Cavaliers.

    Friday's results

    Indiana Pacers 116-114 Minnesota Timberwolves
    Philadelphia 76ers 100-89 Chicago Bulls
    Toronto Raptors 140-111 Washington Wizards
    Memphis Grizzlies 113-109 Cleveland Cavaliers
    Miami Heat 115-108 Oklahoma City Thunder
    Atlanta Hawks 121-120 San Antonio Spurs
    Dallas Mavericks 120-112 Portland Trail Blazers

     

    Lakers at Rockets

    The Los Angeles Lakers (33-8) visit the Houston Rockets (26-14) in a blockbuster clash on Saturday. Lakers star Anthony Davis is questionable for the encounter.

  • If it's harsh, stay the f*** out – Kyrie Irving defends his leadership If it's harsh, stay the f*** out – Kyrie Irving defends his leadership

    Kyrie Irving stands by his criticism of some Brooklyn Nets team-mates and defended his leadership style as he insisted he is not a "f****** a*****e".

    Irving – who joined the Nets as a free agent in the offseason – made headlines this week when he claimed the team had "glaring" needs following a 117-106 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers.

    However, the 27-year-old, a one-time NBA champion and a six-time All-Star, believes he was right to criticise his team-mates and cites his career achievements as the basis for taking a leadership role.

    "It's probably a tell-tale sign of the career that I've had, some of the moves that I've made individually as well as coming to different environments and organisations," Irving told reporters in a video shared by SNYtv.

    "At the end of the day, it's an entertainment league. We're drama-filled, everything revolves on these media platforms, which is part of society. I can't really do anything about it, except really be a pillar in our locker room and when I'm out there, winning, that's what it comes down to.

    "It's not like I'm a f****** a*****e shouting all of the time in the locker room.

    "I'm going to continue to push, demand greatness from my team-mates and we go from there. If it's harsh as a leader or it's too much for anybody, you're not in our locker room – stay the f*** out, it's as simple as that."


    Irving also insisted he has earned the right to be respected and listened to by his team-mates, as he attempts to propel the Nets towards a championship win.

    "At the end of the day, my name is in a lot of people's mouths all of the time," Irving added.

    "I've earned that respect because of how great I am as a player and there's still more goals I want to accomplish in this league and I can't do it without improving an organisation and winning a championship, and that's what it comes down to."

    The Nets are eighth in the Eastern Conference with an 18-22 record for the season, with pacesetters the Milwaukee Bucks next up on Saturday.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.