Paul George’s insights on player empowerment, exit from OKC raise eyebrows

Paul George comments on OKC Thunder (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
Paul George comments on OKC Thunder (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images) /
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OKC Thunder
OKC Thunder, Paul George (Photo by Scott Varley/MediaNews Group/Daily Breeze via Getty Images) /

The Jump interview:

Rachel Nichols is one of my favorite NBA media personalities. While I enjoy The Jump as she plays host to a panel of NBA media and former players it’s her one on one interviews which rival (if not exceed) anyone in the business. Countless times I’ve witnessed Nichols interview stars with a knack for drawing out a more natural offering parsed with genuine moments. For example, every time she speaks to Kawhi Leonard he is less reserved, laughs often and just appears more at ease.

But, in her interview with Paul George, I didn’t come away with that feeling about the former OKC Thunder superstar and perhaps that’s because he wasn’t being entirely forthcoming.

In the sit-down, George reiterated his initial comments about leaving the OKC Thunder. He sure didn’t do much to endear his former team with his responses.

Nichols queried him about standing on a stage with Russell Westbrook just last summer stating I’m here to stay in Oklahoma City. Cited him signing a four-year contract and asked “what changed to get to this point where you said “Okay I’m ready to go I’m going to ask to move on to Los Angeles?

“This was nothing that came out of the blue. We were all on the same page, the initial plan was to give it another year, see what we could do – I did that, played another year. It felt like we were just stagnant. And uh you know, the next thing was okay let’s go for it and go on other plans. Again, it was mutual amongst everybody. I think it was just all across the board when we all looked at it and thought this was the best moment to pull the plug. 

This comment is sure to enrage some fans in Oklahoma and I can’t imagine “felt like we were stagnant” would go over too well with Westbrook.