OKC Thunder: Analyzing Paul George: My Journey (Part 2)

Dwyane Wade, Paul George, OKC Thunder (Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images)
Dwyane Wade, Paul George, OKC Thunder (Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images) /

Thursday evening, the second installment of Paul George’s free agency special aired on SportsCenter.

Part one of Paul George‘s free agency series gave Thunder fans a sense of optimism he would return.

His agent, Aaron Mintz, talked about how he respected Sam Presti for taking a huge risk right after losing Kevin Durant. His sister, Teiosha, discussed how the whole family appreciated the way Thunder fans greeted George upon his arrival in OKC. There was even a kid in his house wearing a Thunder shirt.

Perhaps most encouraging, George mentioned how he loved playing with Russell Westbrook and felt like he didn’t finish the season as strong as he could have. He added that it still weighs on him to this day.

Part One:

Part Two:

All that being said, the second installment, at least to these eyes and ears, didn’t invoke nearly the same amount of optimism.

What made it sound so discouraging?

It starts off with three words the Thunder already know, but don’t want to hear, “I love L.A.” Over B-Roll of sunny Southern California, George discussed how he grew up watching Kobe, and when he was younger, playing on his driveway,  picturing himself in a Lakers jersey.

George reiterated how his primary concern is winning a championship. He met with someone who had a similar experience, Dwyane Wade.

Sitting in a room at The Four Seasons and drinking wine, Wade and George bounced ideas off each other. Wade told George about how he was sick of losing in the first round. Once he was a free agent in 2010, fellow free agent LeBron James gave him a call. It was then the two realized  they could win titles together. The rest is history.

George reiterated that winning a title is his biggest priority, and that he’s always wanted to be a Laker.  At the same time, he wants to make the best move for himself.

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Maybe the most surprising part came when George said that there were other teams such as Boston and the Clippers before getting cut off by Wade saying he can’t regret this decision. Although it feels like a two-team race, this suggests dark horse teams could potentially still be in the running.

This whole episode, and really the vibe of the show, is that he’s leaving and using this as an explanation why. The only positive I really found was when George and Mintz went over his financial options, and how he could make a lot more money in OKC. Then again, George already knows that and we already know what his biggest priority is.

Without a doubt though, the most memorable moment came from Presti. We learn he’s a big fan of the rap group, A Tribe Called Quest. He twice, used the quote “Scared money don’t make none” from the song Midnight, to explain how the Thunder wouldn’t have traded for George if they didn’t think they had chance to re-sign him.

The third and final part will not air until after George has made his decision.