Paul George is currently in Las Vegas with his other ‘Thunder Buddy’, Russell Westbrook, for the USA Basketball’s Minicamp taking place from July 26 to July 27. They are taking jump-shots with 23 other players invited to participate in Thursday camp (July 26, 2018), including former Thunder players Kevin Durant, James Harden, and Victor Oladipo. They are also doing drills and learning from coaches like Spurs head coach, Gregg Popovich, who will also be coaching the USA Basketball Team.
Ben Golliver of Sports Illustrated published a story, Thunder’s Paul George Harbors No Lakers Regrets: ‘I Don’t Need No Big City or Big Lights’ which talked about why George decided to re-sign with the Thunder instead of playing for the Los Angeles Lakers where he could of have a chance to play with Lebron James who just signed a 4 year/$153.3M contract deal with the Lakers. George’s answer about his decision to stay with the Thunder is very simple, he is now what he would consider himself a ‘Family Man’.
“I’m a family man now,” the 28-year-old George said of his decision. “I don’t need no distractions, I don’t need no big cities, no big lights, at this point in my career. For as beautiful as Oklahoma is, it doesn’t have big lights and none of that. But that’s fine… I’m a low-maintenance, low-key, chill guy. I’m not out in the streets, I’m not out in the club, at parties, I’m not really at movie premieres. After games, after practice, I’m home, I’m with my kids, I’m with my girl, and I’m chilling.”
George re-signed with the Thunder on July 6, signing a 4 year/$137M contract, and did not even have any meetings with other teams like the Lakers. But before re-signing with the Thunder, they had just come out of a disappointing first-round exit vs. the Utah Jazz that was led by rookie Donovan Mitchell beating the Thunder in 6 games. The improvements the Thunder front office made this offseason after picking up Nerlens Noel, traded Carmelo Anthony who didn’t fit in with the Thunder for Dennis Schröder and Timothé Luwawu-Cabarrot, and also trading Dakari Johnson for Rodney Purvis who would later be dealt to the Boston Celtics for Abdel Nader, and also the resigning of Jerami Grant and Raymond Felton can also be a huge factor for the Thunder this season making George re-signing with the Thunder long term is a smart idea after all.
George grew up rooting for the Lakers when he was little especially being born in Palmdale, California (North of LA), like every other kid, he dreamt about playing for their hometown team and the respect he has for the organization, history, and legacy. He even asked his former team, Indiana Pacers that he wanted to play for the Lakers before the Thunder took the gamble that paid off by trading Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis. for George a year ago. But he is not done playing for the Thunder and with his teammates just yet after one season and how he has a love and a passion playing for Oklahoma City.